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Dealing with Rejection

You are not alone – all salespeople face disappointment from time to time.

Here are fourteen ways to transform your setbacks.

You have just put the finishing touches on your fourth insurance application for the week and it's only Thursday. You're feeling good about yourself, your career, and your future. Everything is going as planned. Then the phone rings. It's from a client you sold an above-average plan to last year. Circumstances have changed, however, and he needs to drop the policy. You do your best to salvage it, but his mind is made up. You're sorry to see him drop the coverage, but you say to yourself, "It's all part of the sales business." You then begin to prepare for tomorrow's appointment, not giving the lost client another thought.

Let's replay this situation and change the circumstances. Let's assume the client calls to cancel his policy after you have had a three-week dry spell in your practice. How do you react now? Does your attitude remain as positive as the one you described above? Or, do you react differently? Do you say to yourself, "Why is this happening to me?" Or worse, "When will I ever make a sale?" The client call in both scenarios is the same; how you react to it is different.

You are not alone in facing disappointment, rejection, and setbacks. Everyone deals with rejection, especially in the sales field. Sales have always been one of the most difficult, challenging professions, and it is more complex today than ever before. Learning to bounce back and respond constructively to stress is the best antidote to disappointment. Learn to keep mistakes and setbacks in perspective as a single event to be dealt with and not as proof of ineffectiveness or inadequacy. Negative thoughts and feelings don't determine who you are; your actions do.  

Stay Positive

Staying positive, no matter how difficult it may be, is essential to learning how to deal with rejection. No one likes rejection, but some people are much better at dealing with it than others. Dealing with rejection requires positive thought and action. If your mind is trained to react to things in a negative manner, you're going to need to work at retraining your mind so that it reacts positively when faced with adversity or disappointing news.

Once you learn how to be positive when you're faced with negative news, you'll have a much easier time dealing with and accepting rejection.

Here are some suggestions you can use to stay positive, overcome adversity and get back on top of your game.

  1. Take positive action. Analyze your situation and write out specific goals you would like to achieve. Then, create mini action steps to achieve those goals. Monitor your progress daily. Refine or revise your plan as needed.
     
  2. Keep a success journal. Write down everything you feel proud about in your life and career. Write in your success journal on a daily basis. When you're having a bad day, open your success journal and read previous entries to help get you back into a positive mindset.
     
  3. Create a personal mission statement. Keep the big picture in mind. An example of a mission statement is, "My mission is to find challenge, enjoyment, and profit by exceeding my clients' expectation in helping them to identify their financial goals and then implement ways to accomplish their plan." Consider printing your personal mission and placing it somewhere you'll easily see it every day, as a reminder of the goal towards which you are working.
     
  4. Write out positive affirmations. Make sure you also repeat them out loud –often. What you think about gets internalized, and those thoughts will act as a magnet to manifest what you told yourself about the situation. Examples of affirmations include: "I build my own self-respect by serving and respecting others," and "The more value I create for people, the more personal rewards I'll enjoy." Again, consider printing your positive affirmations and placing them where you'll see them everyday. Then each time you see the affirmation, repeat it. Eventually you'll automatically recite your positive affirmations when you're dealing with a difficult situation.
     
  5. Take good care of yourself. Eat well, exercise and get adequate rest. No matter how busy you are during a day, find the time to eat a balanced diet, to exercise (even if it's just a walk around the block), and to get enough sleep each night to allow you to feel rested and refreshed. The better you feel about yourself the more positive you're going to be. As a result, you'll have a much easier time dealing with any obstacles that may come your way. Participate in activities that bring you joy and fulfillment. The best way to do this is to schedule those activities just as you would an appointment with a client.
     
  6. Develop relationships with successful people. These should be people you can trust and on whom you depend. Ask them for advice and feedback on how they would respond to similar challenges. Is there someone in your office that you would like to emulate? How about a successful client? Another way to do this is to create a personal board of directors and meet with them once or twice a year. You may also want to join or start a study group with like-minded agents. Such a study group will allow you to share ideas and to glean inspiration from each other. Like-minded individuals will also have a much easier time relating to your thoughts and feelings and vice-versa.
     
  7. Read positive and uplifting books. Make it a habit to visit your local bookstore or library to find positive and uplifting books that will help you reach a positive place and stay there. Set aside time each day to sit down and read from those books. Even if you only have ten minutes to spare, use those ten minutes to read something that is going to inspire you throughout the rest of your day.
     
  8. Choose books on sales and achievement; biographies of successful people fall into this category. Everyone, even the most successful people in sales and business, has faced rejection and disappointment. One of the key characteristics of a successful person is the fact that he or she has learned how to overcome disappointment.
     
  9. Learn to deal with your stress. Everyone, regardless of their position in life, has some degree of stress in their lives. Rather than looking at stress as a negative, turn it into a positive. For example, you may have an overloaded schedule at work. A negative person might view that overloaded schedule as nothing but a headache. A positive person, on the other hand, sees that packed schedule as an opportunity to achieve something positive.
     
  10. When faced with a stressful situation, take a deep breath, mentally recite your positive affirmations, and relax. Once you're relaxed you'll find it much easier to deal with the stressful situation.
     
  11. Never give up. Everyone faces adversity, and everyone goes through bad periods. The key to your success, both professionally and personally, is to never give up. Remember that every disappointment, or failure, is leading you one step closer to success. If you give up, you'll never achieve your goals. If you have to, take some time to pamper yourself and get away from your frustration then continue toward your goal.
     
  12. Become an optimist. Pessimists see the glass as half-empty while optimists see it as half full. Which are you? If you're a pessimist, start training your mind to see the glass as half full rather than as half empty. Optimists naturally maximize their strengths, including their accomplishments, while minimizing any setbacks or weaknesses.
     
  13. Take control. You can't control everything that happens in your life. But, if you take charge of yourself when faced with circumstances beyond your control, you'll have a much easier time dealing with those obstacles. Essentially, you must evaluate how you react to situations beyond your control. For example, if faced with a stressful situation, do you automatically begin to think negative thoughts and react negatively? Or, do you immediately take control of the situation and start working toward a positive conclusion?
     
  14. Develop self-awareness. Self-awareness is a key component of being positive and it will help you become resilient, making it easier for you to deal with adversity. Becoming self-aware requires you to examine how and why you feel a certain way about the situations in your life. When something upsets you, consider why you're upset and what changes you can make in your life to better cope with upsetting situations.

One of the best ways to develop self-awareness is through journal writing. You don't have to write in your journal every day, but when something is bothering you, empty your feelings onto the page. You'll gain a deeper understanding of yourself and will be better able to make positive changes in your life.

Disappointment is a fact of life. How you handle that disappointment will determine whether you move forward and achieve your goals or you remain stagnant, paralyzed with disappointment. By being proactive and learning how to make positive changes in your life, you'll be able to overcome obstacles and realize your goals.

Good luck to you on your journey to success.

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Polaris One | Bob Arzt | 510-671-6226

bob@polarisone.com

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