100 Doors Closed in your Face
“Don’t stop until you have had 100 doors closed in your face.”
That is the mantra of one of my good friends who spent a summer selling textbooks door to door in rural North Carolina. He wouldn’t measure his days by how many sales he made, he measured them by how many rejections he got. Many sales reps think “I’ll make as many cold calls as it takes to get a meeting, then I deserve a break for the day.” I think you should do the opposite. Measure your success by your rejections.
This will in a sense help you gamify your rejection. Keep a tally mark next to your desk of how many rejections you get and don’t stop till you hit your goal. Inherently you will achieve many more successes along the way. Just because you are not selling Cutco knives, home school education books, Avon, or Girl Scout cookies doesn’t mean you don’t feel the same level of rejection when someone hangs up or you get that inmail rejection notice as you would when they physically slam a door in your face. (At least you probably won’t be chased out by their dogs though in the software sales arena- so there’s that).
Rejection is a part of sales and a part of life. In sales you can make a lot of money if you don’t let it affect you personally. In my industry a rejection doesn’t really mean “no” (in my kool aid drinking opinion) it just means “not now”. Somehow I have luckily convinced my reps to agree with me so the rejections don’t mean “I don’t value your product” or “I don’t value you” they just mean “I’m not ready to take this step with you yet.”
Keep persisting till you get to “no” because then you can figure out the why. Should you be asking someone else instead? Mom said no so you go ask dad right? Sometimes you may just be talking to the wrong person. Did they just buy something else? When is the expiration? What are the gaps in that product? What is their current spend with your competitor? They don’t have time? Why? Is there a board meeting they need to prep for? Are they growing beyond what their current infrastructure can support? Maybe your solution can give them back their time!
I could have wallpapered my first 400 sq ft studio in Boston with all the rejection emails I got from consulting firms I interviewed with.
If I had a nickel for every unanswered prospecting email, unreturned voicemail, rejected inmail– I still wouldn’t make as much as I do on the wins!
Rejection is part of the job, the lifestyle- embrace it and set your own rejection goals to help you reach your success. If you’re really feeling blue just go to a local open mic night and it will put your rejection in perspective, I know because I’ve unsuccessfully done a few stand up shows myself!