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Rules to Surviving the Selling Career

By Percy Chong, 28th September 2014

Much have been written about surviving long in a selling career…discipline, continuous activities and hard work, but the greatest survivor tip is perhaps for the sales person “not to be personal”!

As social creatures, we men are constantly looking for social acceptance. In goes beyond play, but work context as well. And we handle rejections very badly. In fact, it is in our DNA to crave acceptance, and in order to avoid rejections at all cost, we have often use manipulative tactics (ie. blackmail, bribe, lie, cheat, cajole, guilt, pity etc) to get over it. Even as a child, these little ones seem to be endowed with survivor skills that can insulate themselves against the heartache that rejections bring.

And a lot of time in selling, it is the same avoidance of rejection that holds us back from doing even more! It usually results in us, only approaching or associating with prospects/clients that we are comfortable with, to maintain our inner balance. And we know how things work in life, easy things are not necessarily good, and good things are never easy to obtain.

Now, we are not about to discuss and promote the use of “dark arts” to win over all the people that you will be meeting, or achieve your superstardom in sales that you have been dreaming of. What we are suggesting is more subtle, and requires simply a change in your perception…a paradigm shift.

Rule #1, do not take things personally, when you are practicing in a selling career. Rejection is only a rejection if it means something to you. The selling career only starts to ‘hurt’ if you start to take things personally.

Whatever gave you the impression that the prospect or “rejecter” hates or is rejecting you?

More often than not, the “rejecter” is not rejecting you personally. Their objection is with what you are proposing or the products/services that you are representing. And sometimes, their reasons for not entertaining your pitch could be as simple as not having the budget for it. For obvious reasons of pride, it may better to just “shoo” you away. With so many variables to consider, it would be too preposterous to think that you can account for them all.

There are probably numerous incidences in your life where there is the reversal of roles where you found yourself being approached for sales. Were you ever personal towards the sales person? Were you rejecting them personally when you say no to them?

The solution is therefore simple, take yourself out of the selling equation and just prospect for business and not friendship. All rejections that follow will not come close to scratching the surface of your frail psyche.

Rule #2, fix Rule #1 fast before it becomes an irreparable damage to your psyche. Many sales people have been observed to avoid activities that may bring about rejection. This flight and flee response will undoubtedly bring about unhealthy consequences. If unchecked, these avoidance responses will only lead to the building of more protective mechanism, which ultimately will lead to the sales person having an identity crisis and finally, resignation.

An identity crisis is characterized as a sales person being not proud or comfortable with introducing his profession; or in some cases uncomfortable at even sharing about his job or his wares. And that would be the dearth of sales!

With so much insecurity that already exists, you don’t want to entertain another one. We urge you to fix this “twisted” perception early, before it robs you of the opportunity for selling greatness. The solution is in the simple 2 Rule process above…happy selling.

Article contributed by Percy Chong (through Asian Sales Guru)
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