Get Used to Hearing “No”, So You Can Get to “Yes”

by JR Griggs

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'No' Red sign lettering Getting rejected is often very difficult for someone to bear. However, if you are going to sell anything, you need to be able to take rejection.

Did you know? …. The best salesman get rejected 70% of the time. The best baseball players won’t hit the ball 70% of the time. These are the best in their industry and they find defeat more than they find success. More than twice as often in fact.

Are they calling it quits? Are they looking to do something else, because they just can’t seem to get passed the 30% success rate? No, as much as the rejections still sting, they know the success is coming. They know if they keep swinging, keep selling, it’s coming.

In your company, either you or someone you manage or employ, will need this skill. They will need to learn how to handle rejection so they can be successful at selling.

A Skill for All

Sales and handling rejection is needed in every business. Regardless of what industry you are in. Someone will need to do some selling. Every plumbing technician for example, should be trained in sales. They need to sell the job. They should also be trained to sell additional services or warranties. They cannot be afraid of hearing “No”. The same goes for many industries, it’s not just for retail.

Too often I try to implement some better sales for a client and hear about how hard it is to get their employees to sell. This comes right from the fear of hearing “No”. So they just give up or never start. The cashier hates asking people to join the loyalty club because most say no. Somehow they were under the impression that everyone would say yes.

You must anticipate that the majority will say no. You must make sure  your employees also anticipate that. Don’t just send them out there without knowing what to expect. They will get discouraged and give up.

Take a look at this photo I recently took at a gas station. Unless you never pump your own gas, you know that if the gas station has a car wash, you’re going to be asked if you want one. Look at which button is worn out the most.


This gas pump hears “No” a lot!

Do you think that gas pump is discouraged? Regardless of how may times someone rejects the offer, the people who accept it make up for it. That “No” button is completely worn out but as you can see, the “Yes” button gets some love once in a while.

The Yeses Make it Worth While

The bottom line is that even 1 out of 10 will increase profits. For example, let’s say you have a retail store and the cashiers are offering an upgrade on all electronic purchases. The upgrade is worth $20 in profit to your store. If a cashier is checking out just 50 electronics per day and only sells 1 out of 10, that is a $100 a day increase in profits. 90% rejection is worth over $30,000 in additional profits to your store for the year. I’m using simple, low numbers here but think about how that works with bigger volume and better closing rates.

In order for it to work, you and your employees must be able to handle the rejections. The times that you get a yes may seem few and far between but they will add up. Do the math, see what those yeses are worth to you. Show this to your employees to help them understand that hearing “no” is just part of the process.

Got an example of how this worked in your business? Share it below in the comments.

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