7The Curse of Rejection

The way to get through anything mentally painful is to take it a little at a time. The mind can't handle dealing with a massive iceberg of pain in front of it, but it can deal with short nuggets that will come to an end.

—Joe De Sena

So, there you have it. This is where the problem for sales professionals begins. Rejection avoidance is baked into our DNA—it is biological first, then emotional, and, over time, learned through experience.

  • As humans, we are hardwired to feel pain when we get rejected.
  • This pain triggers fear, which can be anticipated, perceived, or real.
  • Early humans who developed sensitivity to rejection were more likely to pass on their DNA, so evolution rewarded this trait.
  • Even in modern society, the pain of rejection teaches us how to act appropriately in public, how to work in groups, how to make friends, and how to fit in.

But in the sales profession:

  • The most important discipline is asking.
  • When you ask, there will be objections.
  • The anticipation of objections triggers the fear of rejection.
  • Objections are not rejection, but they feel that way.
  • The perceived rejection you feel when getting an objection triggers a flood of disruptive emotions.
  • Nothing requires a higher level of emotional control than asking for something and subsequently dealing with objections.

This leads us again to the single most important lesson in this book:

In every sales conversation, the person who exerts the greatest amount of emotional control has ...

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