Positive Reactions to Negative Rejections


Even the best salesperson will have a bad day. Rejection comes hand-in-hand with sales, so it’s essential to know how to react when the person on the other end says “no.” Instead of looking at the rejection as a firmly closed and locked door, shift your perspective.

There are often ways to make the “no” into a “yes” or at the very least use the opportunity to bee a gracious face for your dealership. Reacting positively could convince a customer that you’re a great guy even if they don’t currently need your services, and increase your chances of getting a call back in the future.

Reacting in the Moment

When you’re first confronted with rejection, there are a number of different reactions you can take. The most important one–if you’re hoping for a positive future outcome–is a step back. rejection

In the moment, rejections can bring up a lot of negative emotions, like insecurity, shame, fear, anger. Usually, these emotions come from feeling that the dismissal is aimed at the salesperson personally.

The truth is, however, that a rejection is rarely about the salesperson, and also rarely about the whole product. If you take a step back, you might realize that other factors are contributing to the “no.” For example:

  • You might have caught them at the wrong time
  • They only need one part of your services and are balking at the full package

When you take a step back, you’ll be better able to rebound, and possibly come out with a win. Take a moment to gather information from the customer. Ask them for details about their rejection, so you have a better idea of how to counter or if to counter at this time.

Note: Sometimes retreat is the best approach. Especially if it’s a bad time, thank them for hearing you out and be in touch with them later. Pressuring them when it’s a time issue will likely lead to them making a firmer “no” out of annoyance.

Turning Things Around

Once you know what led to the rejection, you’ll find avenues opening up that present you with some great opportunities. If it’s one area of the package, let’s say, that’s making them hesitate, you can show them how things are broken down and what they can get at different levels.

If you’re able too, keep a running list of reason’s behind rejections so you can identify any patterns. It could be you’ll start to notice interesting trends, like most of your customers, are only interested in one particular service, or that you’re more successful on Tuesdays. You can use the data collected to perfect your pitches going forward.

Finally, remember once more that rejection will happen and that it’s not aimed at you. Keeping in mind that even superstar salespeople deal with regular rejection can help keep you calm in the moment. And that mindset will keep you from feeling shaken in the face of a “no” and move forward positively and productively.