Coping with Rejection

How you handle disappointment will determine if you will move forward in achieving your goals. Here are some suggestions to help you cope with sales rejection, stay positive, overcome adversity and get back on top of your game.


Coping with Rejection By Robert Arzt, CLU, ChFC, LLIF

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These words of wisdom will let you keep on keeping on, no matter the obstacles that come your way.

We have all been there. I hear it all the time from the salespeople I talk to. We make professional sales presentations to well qualified prospects and then face rejection and disappointment. This leads us to ask ourselves: Why does this keep happening? What am I doing wrong? What am I not doing?

The sales profession has always been one of the most challenging in the business world, and it is more complex today than ever. Learning to bounce back and respond constructively to setbacks will be one of the most important things you can do to achieve success.


Here are some suggestions to help you cope with sales rejection, stay positive, overcome adversity and get back on top of your game:


1. Don’t take it personally. Not everyone needs or wants what you are selling, even though you are convinced that what you are proposing will be helpful to your prospect. You are going to hear a lot of "nos." It is all part of the selling process. It is part of your reality as a salesperson, and it is not personal. It is just the way it goes for even the most successful sales professional. Often rejection is due to poor timing. What is a "no" today can be a "yes" at another time.


2. Keep your sales funnel full. Always focus attention on creating your ideal customer profile and systematically grow your list. Keep your funnel full in good times and in bad. This by itself will change everything. The more contacts you have in your target market, the more prospects you will have, and the bigger your pipeline will be. Greater opportunities will help you keep a healthy perspective about rejection.


3. Know your sales ratio. Knowing what to expect helps a great deal. Understand that you will need to give a certain number of sales presentations in order to make one sale. Don’t forget this. By knowing what the numbers are, you will be able to anticipate the business flow, and you may not get as discouraged if you know how much to expect. Pay attention to your sales ratio to help estimate how many rejections to expect before you make a sale.

4. Acknowledge your accomplishments. Keep track of your achievements. Keep a success journal. Write down everything you feel proud about in your life and career. Write in this journal on a daily basis. When you’re having a bad day, open your success journal and read previous entries to help get back into a positive mood.


5. Take good care of yourself. Eat well, exercise and get adequate rest. No matter how busy you are during the day, find time to have a balanced diet, exercise (even if it’s just a walk around the block) and get enough sleep each night to allow you to feel rested and refreshed. The better you feel about yourself, the more positive you’re going to be. As a result, you’ll have a much easier time in dealing with any obstacles that may come your way. Participate in activities that bring you joy and fulfillment. The best way to do this is to schedule those activities just as you would an appointment with a client.


6. Develop relationships with successful people. These should be people you can trust and on whom you can depend. Ask them for advice and feedback on how they would respond to similar challenges. Is there someone in your office you would like to emulate? How about a successful client? Another way to do this is to create a personal board of directors and meet with them once or twice a year. You may also want to join or start a study group with like-minded colleagues. Such a group will allow you to share ideas and glean inspiration from each other. Like-minded individuals will also have a much easier time relating to your thoughts and feelings, and vice-versa.


7. Know that you will succeed no matter what. Never give up. Know ahead of time that you will be successful. Everyone faces adversity, and everyone goes through bad periods. The key to your success, both professionally and personally, is to never give up. Remember that every disappointment or failure is leading you one step closer to success.


Rejection is something we need to deal with in sales. How you handle disappointment will determine if you will move forward in achieving your goals. Remember this: "Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts." (Winston Churchill)


Good luck to you on your journey to success. 


Robert Arzt, CLU, ChFC, LLIF, is President and Founder of Polaris One and Insurance Coach U. Contact him at 510-671-6226 or at He offers a free coaching session and a free download of his book, "What Every Great Salesperson Knows, A No-nonsense Guide to Success." His website is


This article appeared in Advisor Today.


Topics: Sales