Have you come to see rejection as an inevitable part of your business? It’s not. It’s easy to avoid rejection; most people just don’t realize it.

Rejection requires a sender and a receiver. It is an emotion sent, intentionally or as a spontaneous reaction, to create separation with the intended receiver. The receiver is almost always emotionally jolted, feeling he has been denied, invalidated and dismissed.

Rejection is most often a defense mechanism. The sender doesn’t want to divert his attention, deal with change or risk buying something. He doesn’t believe the salesperson can be of benefit to him and probably doesn’t care about the salesperson’s feelings. Chances are, the salesperson has exhibited some sort of behavior that has led to the rejection.

Let’s look at three key steps that will avoid those behaviors—and thus prevent rejection.


1. Put the Prospect Before the Presentation

This means caring more about this person than about making a sale. The way you treat your prospects is the most important aspect of sales. There is no substitute for good manners and diplomacy. No one likes being sold, yet most people enjoy buying. Once you realize this, it becomes easy to resist trying to sell someone.

Respect is the first and most important component of the sales process. Putting your prospect before your presentation, you convey respect and keep the other person in the game. You also command his respect in return.

If you place your own agenda first, you’re more likely to take shortcuts that will create the need for your prospect to reject you. Instead, focus on your prospect’s agenda rather than your own. Realize that you are in the problem-solving business. When your desire to solve your prospect’s problem is greater then your desire to earn a commission, you will actually earn more commissions in the long run.


2. Never Remove Choice from the Prospect

Do you like people telling you what to do? How does it make you feel when someone gives you an ultimatum? It’s not a very pleasant feeling—and it leads to rejection.

Sometimes it’s necessary to ask the prospect’s permission to avoid being rejected in the beginning. For example, “Would you allow me to share with you, for your consideration, a few ideas that may be beneficial to you down the road?” If the prospect denies you permission to share your ideas, they are not rejecting you personally; they are rejecting the idea that they make a consideration.


3. Learn to Think Like a Survey-Taker

Let’s suppose for a moment that a marketing company has hired you to take a survey.

Your job is to ask 100 people a day if they prefer red or green. At the end of each day, you are to count up the number of people who answered “Red” or “Green.” You have been instructed to disregard any answer that is not “Red” or “Green.” Let’s also assume you have no personal preference between the two colors.

Remember, your job is to ask the question. You are not paid according to what answers you get; you are paid for the number of times you ask the question.

The people you’re surveying understand this. They realize that you don’t have any hidden agenda. They know you’re not trying to persuade them to answer “Red” or answer “Green,” and that you’re not trying to sell them anything. They don’t have to defend themselves from you. And most importantly, you are not emotionally involved with whatever answers they give.

Can you get a sense of the attitude you would have as you ask these people your questions? Can you get a sense of the attitude the people have about you as they give you their answers?

Now, transfer this attitude to the presentations you give in your networking business.

Your job is to solve problems. Will you solve everyone’s problems with your product, service or opportunity? Of course not. It’s ridiculous to think that you would.

Your job is to survey people, to find out if they are someone with a problem you can solve, or not. Red, or green.

The prospect may not always agree, and that’s okay, because the prospect is always right anyway! If you’re not emotionally involved, it isn’t important that you be “right.”

Your job is to survey people.

If you should happen to get any negative reactions, it’s hard to take them seriously, and you certainly don’t take them personally. Imagine someone saying, “I prefer red, and frankly, if you think green is better, you are an idiot!” Would you feel personally rejected by that comment?

Selling is a numbers game. The number of people you talk to and the quality of your presentation will determine your earnings. But if you fear rejection, you’ll be less inclined to seek talking to very many people. If you understand what rejection is, what causes it and how you can avoid it, then you can become fearless in your presentations.


RAN CRAWLEY is a professional mediator and
sales trainer, and has served as the national
marketing director for a multi-million dollar company.
He and his wife Teresa have achieved the highest
pin levels with two major network
marketing companies.