There is arguably nothing more challenging about working in sales than dealing with, and getting over, rejection. Working on a deal for weeks or months, just to have it fall apart at the last minute can be demoralizing no matter how mentally strong you are. But learning how to deal with and get over losing a sale is also one of the most valuable skills a successful salesperson can possess.
Here are five things you can do to help you get over a lost sale:
1. Understand that it’s part of the process
There is no salesperson out there who has a 100% closing rate. Losing deals happens to everyone. In Virgin founder Richard Branson’s autobiography, he tells the story of countless deals he lost over and over again when trying to get his record company off the ground.
It’s incredible that he didn’t quit after losing these deals, and instead stuck with it and grew one of the world’s most recognizable brands. But even Richard Branson has lost many, many deals. So you’re not alone…not even close.
2. Have a plan
Since you know that you’re bound to lose a deal sometimes, make sure you have a plan for what you’re going to do when that happens. The best thing to do would be to immediately pick yourself back up and be productive. Maybe make some prospecting calls, or follow up on your old prospects that might have fallen off the map.
Whatever you think will make you more successful, incorporate it into your back-up plan and pull it out immediately when you lose a deal.
3. Don’t take it personally
Many salespeople are focused on being liked and on building relationships. This is usually a good thing because being able to do this can help make one successful. But it’s a double-edged sword when it comes to losing a deal, as some salespeople tend to take it personally or as a reflection on themselves. Well, it isn’t.
There are infinite reasons for why you might have lost a deal, and your personality is only one of the possible factors, and one of the least likely ones too, if you’re halfway competent. Don’t take it personally, it’s usually just business.
4. Make sure you have a pipeline
If you only have one deal in the works, you’re going to be devastated to lose it. This is why it’s absolutely critical to always have a solid pipeline of possible deals in the works. Hopefully, you’re using a CRM to keep track of all your deals.
If you can keep new prospects in your pipeline at all times, you’re not going to be crushed if you lose a deal, because you’ll already be moving onto another one.
5. Think of the outcome
At the end of the day, if you lose a big sale, the first thing you should ask yourself is this: “What will get me to my goals?” The answer will never, ever be to sit around and sulk or dwell on your failures.
The only possible thing you should take away from losing a deal is what you’ve learned from the experience that can help you close your next one. Sitting around being depressed or feeling sorry for yourself will in no way help you move forward. Take a deep breath, and move on!