How I Finally Got Over the Fear of Rejection in Sales

9 min read
Jul 24, 2022

The fear of rejection is as prevalent in the business world as it is in high school, yet most sales pros will not admit it.

It paralyzes sales professionals and business owners from taking action while crippling them with anxiety.

As a result, they fail to reach their business goals and grow.

Sound familiar?

However, as prevalent as the fear of sales rejection is, it is nonsense.

Once I realized it was nonsense, I learned how to manage it to achieve my business goals (sans anxiety).

To help you finally kick the fear of rejection to the curb, I am sharing how I finally got over the fear of rejection.

Additionally, I am sharing why fearing rejection is a bogus fear despite all of us feeling it.

How much longer will you let what others think run your life?

 

The Cause of Fear of Rejection Runs Deeper Than You Think

 

Fear of rejection is universal.

Business owners and sales professionals are not the only groups who experience it.

Why?

Because, fear of rejection is hard-wired into human nature.

After thousands of years of evolution, the human brain avoids rejection like the plague.

That said, do not beat yourself up for fearing rejection!

The causes of it run deeper than you think.

 

Fearing Rejection is a Product of Human Nature

Human ancestors spent thousands of years evolving within small tribes.

Being accepted within a tribe was crucial for survival.

If the tribe did not accept you, you are left to fend for yourself in a world full of saber tooth tigers, dinosaurs, and other predators.

Preventing being expelled from the tribe depends on getting others to like you; If members of the tribe like you, then you will not be rejected.

That said, our brains evolved to fear rejection because rejection could mean the end of your life.

Being rejected is a matter of not being liked. Therefore, people will do whatever it takes to get others to like them!

Even though we no longer live in a tribal world full of predators, and it does not matter if people like us, our brains are still wired to fear rejection.

 

You Will Never Not Be Afraid of Rejection

You will never not feel afraid of rejection.

Why?

Because, fearing rejection is deeply wired into the brain.

The highly evolved wiring of the human brain is too strong to overpower.

Maybe in another 100,000 years the brain will evolve not to fear rejection.

Until then, the fear of rejection, along with the fear of failure, will be universal!

That said, DO NOT try to overcome the fear of rejection.

Trying to overcome the fear of rejection is like trying to prevent the sun from rising in the morning: It is impossible because it is the way of the world.

Instead of trying to overcome the fear, build strength to stand up against it.

Building strength will help you stand tall in the face of fear.

That way, you will take action despite what fear tells you to do.

 

How do salesmen handle rejection?

 

The Effects of Fearing Rejection In Sales

 

The fear of rejection creates devastating impacts on sales teams.

Ultimately, these impacts compile and result in failing to close deals with new customers.

AKA, failing to grow your business!

That is if you do not build the strength to stand against the fear.

Even the most experienced sales professionals struggle with fearing rejection.

 

Prospects Make You an Afterthought

First, you are not as assertive as you need to be when you fear rejection.

For example, you wait several days before making the next call instead of following up every 24 hours.

You do not follow up every 24 hours because you are afraid of being seen as pushy or desperate. Being seen as pushy or desperate would cause the prospect to reject you.

Right? Wrong!

Being assertive is crucial to sales success.

Sales reps must be assertive if they want to:

Moreover, prospects treat you like an afterthought unless you are assertive.

Unfortunately, though, most sales reps are not assertive with prospects because they fear it would make them get rejected.

 

Prospects Lose Respect for You

Closing business deals faster than ever depends on your ability to make killer sales pitches.

Most salespeople have the goods to make knock-out sales pitches.

However, they only go halfway on pitching instead of going all-in.

They hold themselves back from pouring their heart into pitches because they are afraid of coming across as overbearing.

They fear being overbearing will cause them to be rejected.

For example, a salesperson might have a full-proof plan to help a prospect solve their pain point.

The plan is unlike anything the prospect has seen before, and the salesperson is sure it will help solve their problem better than anything else.

Unfortunately, the salesperson holds themself back from pouring their heart into the pitch because they fear coming across as overbearing.

Here is the thing: Prospects will not respect you if you only go halfway.

Why?

Because, they will get a sense that you are afraid.

Prospects do not respect salespeople who come across as afraid- why would they buy from somebody who is not confident in themself?

Fearing rejection holds salespeople back from going all-in when it matters the most.

 

Living in Constant Anxiety

Any sales professional who fears rejection knows how anxiety-inducing it is.

Fearing rejection boils down to what other people think about you: If people think poorly of you, you get rejected.

Caring about what other people think about you is a recipe for anxiety disaster!

Most sales pros do not admit to caring what other people think of them.

However, their actions tell a different story.

 

Ultimately, Your Business Sits on Thin Ice

Ultimately, sales professionals fail to close deals with new customers.

Thanks to the fear of rejection, they were not:

  • Assertive enough to capture potential customers
  • Going 100% in on pitches
  • Spending days operating in a positive mindset

As a result, they do not close any new sales deals.

Without any new sales deals, their business does not grow.

Unless the business grows, it plateaus and eventually heads towards a downward spiral.

Left untamed, the fear of rejection causes a title wave of issues that can lead to total business downfall.

 

how to overcome rejection in sales

 

Why the Fear of Rejection Is Nonsense (Important)

 

As I said, the fear of rejection is a product of human evolution.

The human brain is wired to fear rejection to prevent rejection from a tribe.

Being liked by tribe members is how you prevent rejection.

While this equation might have made sense thousands of years ago, it does not matter in the sales world today.

Furthermore, the fear of sales rejection is absolute nonsense!

Do you fear rejection?

Managing the fear starts with understanding that the fear is bogus.

 

Customers Do Not Care About You. They Care About Themselves.

Potential clients do not care about you.

Instead, they care about themselves and their own problems.

Despite this, most salespeople choose their actions as if potential new clients are criticizing their every move.

For example, instead of making follow-up calls every 24 hours, the salesperson waits several days between calls.

Again, they do this because they do not want to come across as pushy.

However, salespeople forget that prospects DO NOT care about what you do!

They are not sitting there criticizing your every move.

They are too busy being consumed by their problems to criticize you.

You should not worry about what prospects think about you or if they like you.  Because in reality, they are not thinking about you at all.

 

Potential Customers Are Not Sitting Around the Table Talking About You

Do you think your potential customers go home and talk about you at their dinner table?

Do you think they say to their family, 'This one sales rep was totally annoying me with their sales calls today'?

Of course, they do not talk like that.

However, most salespeople drive themselves crazy with negative thoughts thinking this is what prospects do.

Again, you have no reason to consider what prospects think about you because they are not thinking about you in the first place.

 

You Have No Reason to Consider What Prospects Think About You

Your brain is wired to care about what people think about you to prevent rejection.

While that made sense thousands of years ago, it does not make sense today in sales.

You have no reason to consider what prospects think about you because they do not think about you!

Instead, they only think about themselves.

Because of this, the fear of rejection in sales is nonsense. It has no legitimate place in selling.

Therefore, you have no reason to beat yourself up about it.

 

how to overcome the word no in sales

 

How to Handle Rejection In Sales to Achieve Your Fullest Potential

 

As I said, you will never eliminate the fear of rejection because it is wired in your DNA.

Instead of getting rid of rejection, focus on managing it.

Managing the fear of rejection is about not letting it stop you from doing what you need to do.

The key to managing the fear of rejection in sales is reminding yourself that it is bogus.

Remember, prospects do not care about you! Instead, they care about themselves.

Therefore, worrying about rejection is pointless because prospects are not even thinking about you.

That said, here are five practices I used to help get over the fear of rejection in sales.

 

Be Grateful for the Opportunity to Feel Afraid

First, remind yourself that you are blessed to either have a sales job or be a business owner.

Millions of people would do anything to have the opportunities you have!

Instead of being angry or sad about the fear of rejection, remind yourself that you are blessed to be in your current position.

Facing the fear of sales rejection is the price you pay for the opportunity.

You can shake your fist at the business world and be angry about feeling fear.

Or, you can be grateful that you have the chance to feel fear because of your opportunities.

Choose to be grateful and recognize that managing fear is the price to pay for having those opportunities.

 

Master Cold Calling and Pitching

Being prepared to dominate your sales process is crucial for managing fear.

Showing up unprepared makes it easy for fear to slip through the cracks.

I suggest preparing by mastering two particular parts of the sales process:

  1. Cold sales calls
  2. Sales pitching

First, cold phone calls are your first shot to impress prospects.

While nobody likes to admit it, first impressions are crucial to success.

Second, sales pitches are your single-best opportunity to entice prospects during sales meetings.

You will have no problem dominating the sales game if you can pitch like you are in the 1%.

Focus on mastering cold calls and pitches before everything else.

Showing up prepared to dominate in these two areas helps keep fear at bay.

 

Take More Swings Than Every Other Salesperson

Many online business gurus suggest visualization and positive self-talk exercises to help manage fear.

While these tactics can be helpful, they sometimes prevent salespeople from taking action.

For example, salespeople will visualize themselves making more sales calls instead of actually making more calls.

That said, I suggest taking more swings than every other salesperson.

By that, I mean taking action more often than every other salesperson.  Taking action more often gives you more practice.

For example, make double the amount of sales calls (AKA, take more swings) as you are now.

The more swings you take, the more opportunities you have to improve while not letting fear stop you.

The best way to improve sales while managing fear is through action.

 

Laugh a Little More at Yourself

Most business owners and sales pros are too serious these days.

Instead of being lighthearted, they take everything that happens to them personally.

That said, learning to laugh a little more at yourself can ease the fear of rejection.

The fact that we care so much about what other people think is hilarious when you contemplate it!

The best sales professionals know how to laugh at themselves.

They laugh about being afraid of rejection instead of letting it stand in their way.

 

Focus on Becoming a Stronger Person

Finally, remember that you will never eliminate the fear of rejection.

The fear will persist as long as human nature exists!

That said, constantly remind yourself that your best defense against fear is building strength to stand up against it.

It is not about getting rid of fear but becoming a stronger person!

Also, remind yourself that the most successful sales pros fear rejection just as much as you.

Regardless of what you see on social media, nobody is above fearing rejection.

The ability to manage fear is one of the great dividers between top sales pros and those who never live to their potential.

Which side of success do you want to fall on?

 

Final Thoughts on Getting Over the Fear of Rejection In Sales

 

As long as people exist, they will always fear rejection.

Therefore, people will always care what others think of them.

Instead of trying to eliminate fear, focus on becoming a stronger person to stand up against it.

Feeling better, living up to your sales potential, and growing your business depend on standing up against fear.

Will you allow what other people think of you to determine your outcomes?

Win more deals. Grow your business.

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