Many Sales Managers believe, from their experience, that the most important trait a successful sales person needs is the ability to deal with rejection. At an interview a coping strategy for rejection is even more important because it is far more personal. In this blog I set out some techniques, attitudes and advice to help you bounce back.
When you were rejected in the past it is probably because of one of the following. So my first advice is to get your act as prepared as possible before your next interview:
a) Personal chemistry not an appropriate match for the corporate culture. Do you fit into the team? In this scenario, which is actually the most common one, you are often better off being rejected as it is not the right company for you. You need to make sure you’re applying to the right jobs.
b) You do not have clear well-formed S.M.A.R.T. goals that matched what they were offering. Revisit your goals and know exactly what you want to achieve by when and why.
c) Attitude not positive and determined enough. People always want their sales staff to be upbeat, achievement focused and positive as this sells more than any technique.
d) Clear crisp communication. If you talk in slang, a strong accent or with a monotone it will put interviewers off.
e) Smart appearance. Some people really do not understand that looking smart, well groomed and dressed is an absolute essential for any sales position.
f) A positive fun personality. People buy people first and wherever else second, so interviewers will look for a fun lively personality that is interesting to talk to. For this reason recruiters look and probe on interests more than most interviewees might think. What have you done that is adventurous?
g) You asked questions that put them off as to your real motivations. Your questions focused on the basic, hours of work, more than the career prospects, progression, market, management and potential earnings.
h) You lacked a track record showing stability, direction and accomplishment. Be careful of trying your best at something and then dropping out, you need to be careful of building a stable and progressive CV showing achievement, persistence, determination etc not giving up.
i) They doubted your honesty and integrity. No quality company wants liars representing their brand. Answer questions honestly, not with what you think they want to hear. If you have something negative in your background talk about what you learnt from it and how you have changed.
j) You lack sales skills. For new people this is less of a criterion than you might think. The reason being sales skills can be taught. Attitude and personality less so. They may well look though for a natural sales ability, ease with people.
k) You did not close, you waited to hear. Why would anyone want a sales person who cannot close a deal? Your job at interview is to decide if you want the job or not and if you do, get the offer out of them then and there.
In interviewing, like in sales itself, the reality is for every 100 contacts you make the majority will say no whatever you are selling. Therefore, you are hearing more rejection than success, a balance in the wrong direction that needs addressing.
If you are rejected at a sales job here is some simple techniques and reminders to help.
1. See ‘rejection’ as a learning experience. Decide that whatever happens you will always get a benefit from every interview. That can be many things; feedback, pointers, advice, referrals, experience. Find out why you were rejected.
2. If the job is exactly what you are looking for keep pitching. If they reject you turn it around. If it was a marginal decision that just might get you to a yes. I have seen this happen many many times.
3. Realise that every person looking for jobs gets far more rejections than offers. If it is not recoverable move fast to the next one.
4. No sales person should ever be unemployed. Every company wants to increase their sales, so there are always plenty of prospects. You only need one job!
5. Make direct applications to whom you would like to work for. Don’t just apply to advertised jobs. Cut out the middle men and go straight to the companies you would like to work for.
6. Listen every day to motivational and educational products like Tony Robbins or Les Brown. These will keep you positive and focused. Just listen free on You Tube.
7. Read a little of a good book daily. Improve your knowledge and skills constantly.
8. Avoid negative people, never look for sympathy and never listen to someone who thinks that you cannot achieve your goals and earn your fortune.
9. As Winston Churchill said to achieve victory, never, never, never give up on your goals until you have achieved them.
10. Decide to be a great success, trying your best is already accepting the possibility of failure.
11. Realise that when you have a track record of achieving high sales, it will all be about companies trying to talk you into working for them not the other way around. So focus when you are given a good opportunity on over delivering and building a powerful CV and reputation.
Good luck and good job hunting!