How to Work With Rejections and Overcome Rejections as a Sales Rep

A sales rejection is an explicit expression by a buyer that a barrier exists between the current situation and what needs to be satisfied before buying from you. Beyond that, in the sales field, rejection means the customer doesn’t want to buy or go to the next logical step. In many cases, the customer throws excuses that the salesperson too quickly catches.

  • Common Sales Rejections Are:

To be a successful sales rep, you must learn how to both discover and handle these objections. Rejection handling involves responding to the buyer in a manner that changes their thoughts or alleviates their concerns. Complaints are generally around price, product fit, competitors, and good old-fashioned brush-offs.

The word “no” can be a tough pill to swallow. Objections are a regular part of the sales process and can occur for many different reasons and take many forms. Contrary to what most people believe, the hardest part of working in sales isn’t selling. The hardest part is staying positive and pushing through rejection, obstacles, and negativity.

The constant and often harsh rejection of sales can slowly wear down a sales rep’s confidence and drive to win. If reps focus too much on the negative side of sales, it can start to affect their work and their win rate. Managing feedback and handling objections are critical selling skills and should be trained, practiced and coached as part of a comprehensive sales training program.

Listening to the customer and showing a keen sense of curiosity and empathy can go a long way to helping build the relationship for the long term. Sometimes the only truth behind most sales rejection, e.g., “It’s too expensive,” “we’re not interested,” is just that they don’t have enough information yet about your value proposition or the customers don’t fully understand what you’re offering.

If you’re tired of losing deals to responses like, “Your price is too high,” or “Now isn’t a good time,” it’s time to get serious about overcoming objections.

4 Step Process to Handle and Overcome Rejections

Here are essential tips that can help salespeople avoid negativity caused by rejection in sales, and stay positive and productive:

Acknowledge (Listen Fully to the Objection)

The first step when responding to an objection is to listen and then show empathy carefully. Don’t be patronizing, but take an interest in their concern. Take the time to listen to the objection fully, try to understand their perspective and more than anything realize that you can’t argue with their opinion. It may be a misunderstanding, a bias, or a strong opinion, but they are sharing their perspective, and you need to acknowledge that they have a right to what they believe.

Listen with the intent of fully understanding the buyer’s concerns without bias or anticipation, and allow your body language and verbal confirmations to communicate to the buyer that you are listening intently. The idea here is that by showing the customer that you are listening to his or her concerns, the customer will get less defensive, and you will gain permission to address the objection.

Clarify (Understand the Objection Completely)

Taking time to clarify the objection is critical to ensure you understand the underlying issue and that you address the actual concern on their mind. Often customers initially raise one objection but have an essential underlying objection that can only be discovered by asking questions and probing. It’s your job to get to the heart of the complaint, and then fully understand it and its actual source.

Even after the buyer confirms you understand correctly, ask “What else?” and “Why” questions for clarification. Often it is the answer to that last “What else?” that contains the most significant barrier to moving the sale forward.

This allows you to assess the customer’s priorities and also gives you additional insight and options for how you respond to the objection.

Address the Objection (Respond Properly)

Once you’ve clarified the objection, you can address the concern by explicitly responding to the underlying issues that you’ve uncovered. You should do your best to resolve their issue right away. The more you can address issues in real time, the higher chance you have of moving the sale forward.

In many cases, objections are a symptom of the customer not being far enough along with their buying process to make a decision yet. In such cases, you will need to move back in your sales process to determine if there are new requirements that have been identified or parts of your solution that the customer doesn’t understand.

Confirm (Confirm You’ve Satisfied the Objection)

As with other stages in your sales call, you should frequently be checking for understanding with the customer. Once you’ve responded to the buyer’s objections, it’s not enough to present an eloquent response to their complaint, check if you’ve satisfied all of their concerns. Just because they nodded during your answer doesn’t mean they agreed with everything you said.

The best way is to ask if the buyer is happy with your solution and explain your solution further if necessary. Some objections require a process to overcome, not just a quick answer.


  • Successful sales objection handling and negotiating comes down to:

Rejection are an inevitable aspect of sales. Some are legitimate reasons to disqualify, at the same time as others are merely a try to brush you off. But as long as you’re acquainted with common objections and prepared to answer them, you’ll have the ability to distinguish between potentialities who have the capacity to be true clients and prospects with whom you need to part ways.

When faced with sales rejections, don’t lose sight of your goal. Use the steps above to Listen, Understand, Respond and Confirm, and you will strengthen your relationships with buyers, overcome obstacles in the buying process, and move closer to the sale.



I’m a Sales Professional with over 10 years experience in sales management and commercial development with great interest in IT market and software development.

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Margo Prylypska

I’m a Sales Professional with over 10 years experience in sales management and commercial development with great interest in IT market and software development.