The average sales agent goes through 180 ‘No’s’ before finally they get a ‘Yes’. It’s no secret that rejection is one of the hardest – if not the hardest – aspects of professional selling.

Ronica Moodliar, one of the GMs at Talksure, says: “Telesales is not an easy job. Hearing the word ‘No’ daily, can leave one feeling rejected, demotivated and frustrated. Not only that, the fear of rejection can sometimes be greater than the actual rejection itself, often paralysing agents which affects their performance.”

She adds that, interestingly, the moment an agent makes a sale, those feelings simply disappear (much like holding a baby in your arms after the agony of child birth). “There is no feeling like it and it makes all the hardships worthwhile.”

So, is there a better way to deal with rejection? Ronica believes there is and says that the difference between an average sales agent and a High Roller (a top sales agent), is their ability to deal with rejection.

“You see, High Rollers understand that rejection is inevitable. They accept rejection and instead of trying to avoid the No’s, they use them to their advantage.”

She offers the following five tips to deal with rejection:

* Understand the industry: The average South African receives about 15 cold calls a month so it’s safe to say that the sales industry has grown substantially over the past decade. Customers who have buying power, know what you are going to say, they know your pitch and they know that you are going to try and overturn their objections.

* Your first five seconds are critical: You need build trust with your customer and quickly! Making them smile from the onset will buy you a few additional seconds while you focus on explaining the value that your product or service can deliver. Then you need to listen. Like really listen. Focus on understanding what they need and then deliver accordingly.

* Dealing with the ‘No’s’ before the ‘Yes’: Expect the ‘No’s’, it will make your job easier. Don’t be desperate, be indifferent and allow your customer to speak. Take that ‘No’ and then focus on how you can overturn the customer’s objection. Ask questions like “Is there any particular reason you are not interested?” You may just discover that you have caught them at the wrong time.

* Learn from the ‘No’s’: With every ‘No’ comes an opportunity to learn. Feedback is critical to your development as an agent and should never be confused with criticism. Feedback will help you improve your performance and will break the fears and the barriers of rejection. You should also ask your team for feedback! Get advice from the High Roller and listen to your calls together to see where you can improve.

* Feel all the emotions: Everyone has a bad day. Don’t be too hard on yourself. Every, single sales professional has been where you are. It’s okay to feel rejected and discouraged, but you need to be able to pick yourself up. Don’t give up. Take time out, stand up, shake it off and move on.

“The one quality that all sales people possess is the love of a good challenge. See rejection as a challenge and remember to remain professional, calm and courageous, because sooner or later you will get your ‘yes’. It’s the Law of Averages,” Ronica concludes.