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What to do when a prospect rejects you

I headed back to my car as the sting of rejection welled up in my eyes.

I had just met with a client (a healthcare practitioner) who had recently ordered one of our shake products so she could try it out before offering it to her patients.

We were meeting that day so I could hear what she thought of the shake now that she had tried it.

“Oh, that thing?” she said. “I couldn’t stand the taste of it. So I put the container in my basement to keep it as far away as possible.”

Woman holding her hand up
What to do when a prospect rejects you

Her dislike churned in the pit of my stomach. I stammered some kind of incoherent apology and then headed out of her office, back to my car.

I felt deeply rejected.

I felt shame deep in my core.

To me, it was about much more than a shake. I felt she was rejecting ME, not my product.

After that, I didn’t call on her for a couple of years, until a colleague of mine heard that she was interested in learning about other products in our product line.

She ended up becoming a raving fan of many of our products (minus the shake) and we formed a relationship that I value to this day.

In hindsight, I realized how much I had magnified her rejection of one little ingredient (turns out she just doesn’t like stevia!)

I made it all about me. I let it shake my confidence. I let it keep me from providing great service to her for a couple of years.

Rejection is scary.

That’s why sales can be scary.

But it’s so liberating when you finally learn that the rejection has very little to do with YOU, and so much more to do with where the buyer is AT.

Then you can show up more selflessly.

You become stronger and happier. And you begin to serve in the way you were meant to.

Here are three things you can do when you feel the sting of rejection:

  1. Ask yourself: "Is my prospect rejecting me, or was there just something about my product that they didn't like?" While the know/like/trust factor is eternally relevant, sensitive souls (like me!) can sometimes take that to an extreme and conflate their very identity with their product. Recognize that your buyers bring their own likes, dislikes, and circumstances to the table. Much of that has very little to do with you.

  2. In order to shift your attention away from rejection and back to the value you offer, write down the names of three happy customers and what they love about your products.

  3. Remind yourself that you are here to bring value to your buyers. That means you have to check your ego at the door. Yes, ego. There may be good intentions in people-pleasing and wanting to be liked, but they still come from the ego. Remind your ego to stay in its place so you can show up fully for your customers, without attachment.

Can you relate to the sting of rejection? What other ways have you found to cope with the sting?



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