How To Overcome The Fear Of Rejection In Sales

Written by Sean McPheat | Linkedin thumb

Rejection stamp

A sales person with a fear of rejection is like a lifeguard with a fear of water. It is a serious problem. Although, faced with a constant flow of rejection, absorbing one “No” after another, it is only understandable to begin to develop a pessimistic anticipation when closing sales. In addition, those old thoughts like, “It takes X amounts of NOs to get a YES…” and, “You should not take rejection personally…” provide little comfort.

However, there is a way to get past this mental block. Mental block is certainly the term, as the statistics will always prove that the fear is more psychological and emotional than physical. Following is a practical way to look at this; to think about it, to help you get rid the fear of rejection once and for all!

Understand the Fear
Let’s face it; the fear is not unfounded, in particularly when you work on a 100% commission. The problem is that rejection in sales involves the loss of money that is often substantial. The fear comes from the risk of losing income, and since that income provides for nearly everything you have and do, then the risk is great. As a sales person faced with possible rejection, in your mind, it is more than just the potential loss of money. It is the possible loss of everything: your home, food, auto, family, dignity and your lifestyle, as you know it.

Put the Fear in Perspective
When you, even subconsciously, feel that so much is at stake, you naturally fear. Therefore, you first need to put the situation in its proper perceptive. When you ask for that sale, what is it that is really at stake? You are about to ask for the sale in which there is a potential commission of £1,000 on the table. Naturally, you feel that if rejected, you lose £1,000. However, that is not true.

What is Actually at Risk?
To determine what is truly at stake, figure out the momentary value of that one sales call. As an example, let’s say that you earn an average of £1,000 when you close a sale. However, with a 20% closing average, it takes you five closing attempts to close one sale. Therefore, each closing attempt is essentially worth but one fifth of the total, or £250. Should the prospect buy, you earn £250, not £1,000. Does that make sense?

What Do You Lose?
Let us take this a step further though. Since you earn £250 per closing attempt, it does not matter if the prospect buys or not…you STILL earn £250! Every time you ask for the sale, you earn a certain amount of money…period.

You Are Paid Every Time!
Do you fear rejection when cold calling? Assume that you earn £250 for every closing attempt. Yet, it takes you 10 cold calls to set one appointment for that closing attempt. Therefore, you essentially earn £25 for every cold call you make—-regardless of the outcome of any individual call!

Figure out your actual numbers; the true value of each closing attempt and each sales activity in your business. It does not matter if you earn £250 per close, or £25. It does not matter if you make £10 per cold call or £1. The fact is that you get paid for every sales activity, rejection or not.

You lose nothing. You risk nothing. You get paid no matter what.

What is there to fear?

Happy Selling!


Sean McPheat

Sean McPheat
Managing Director

MTD Sales Training | Image courtesy of

450 sales questions free report

Originally published: 9 January, 2012

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