This biggest lie in sales

This biggest lie in sales

By Scott Sambucci | June 16, 2013

“To be good at sales, you need to be good at dealing with rejection.”


I remember a call with a very large hedge fund I’d been working with for six months. The final call ended abruptly with the Managing Director telling me – “We’re not interested.” . That was it. After six months of sales calls, product demos, white papers, engineers, and PowerPoint slides. I hung up the phone and loudly stated what a “f-cking $#*&*sucker” the guy was.

I hate rejection. I take it very personally. You should too. Because when a lead or prospect tells you they’re “not interested” what they are a really telling you is “You haven’t shown me enough value to engage in a conversation, spend money, or take a risk on my career with you.”

When I cooled down and played out the sale, I realized that I bulldozed too quickly to the product instead of learning needs. I had a product demo with 7-8 analysts on the call, and I didn’t call a single one after the call to ask them what they thought, and what problems they needed to solve. I tried to push to a close by offering to send a contract for their legal team to review – at the end of the product demo.

I did all of these things. Really. It was my fault. And so it is with you when the client tells you “no.” It’s your fault. It’s your fault. Say it with me – “It’s my fault when the client rejects me.”

Yes, there are occasional numskulls and idiots that reject you because that’s what they do to everyone. Do you really want to do business with them anyway?

Plain and simple, most rejections are your fault. Never get used to rejection. Every rejection is an opportunity to appraise yourself.

Ask yourself:

What could I have done differently?

  • Did I really do my research before calling that person?
  • Did I push to quickly into a demo, thinking that the product would sell itself instead of crystallizing the client’s needs?
  • Did I bet too much on one contact in the account?
  • Did I think the decision was about price, instead of what value I would bring?
  • Did I assume a problem even existed in the first place?

My first and favorite sales manager once told me that there are a million was to screw up a sale. So when you screw up a sale, think about which of these million reasons caused the rejection and resolve to fix it. Heck, maybe call the guy that just rejected you and try again. Do something.

Just remember: it’s your fault.

Want to improve your Sales Model? Check out the Sales Model Canvas here.

Leave a Reply 0 comments

Leave a Reply: