Rejection is a gift!

by Susannah Mathieson

As sales professionals, we are confronted with rejection in one form or another almost every day. Be it in a conversation with the customer who rejects the offer made, the colleague who lets you down in the decisive phase of the project, or the boss who does not support your strategy and imposes his or her idea on you and the team.

Disappointment, frustration, even resignation can be the consequence. In the rarest of cases, however, do we perceive rejection as a gift. And here is a great example that this is the best of all strategies to become even more successful in sales!

Since childhood, Jia Jiang, an author and young entrepreneur from China, experienced the serious impact that rejection had on his personal and professional development. And when he realised that his deep-seated fear of rejection was preventing him from living his life the way he wanted to, he decided to face his deepest fears. He deliberately looked for rejection for 100 days. For his experiment, he chose a task for himself every day that would almost always result in rejection. Be it asking for a free burger refill at his local fast-food restaurant or offering to plant flowers in a stranger’s garden.


At the end of his experiment, Jia Jiang had learned 5 lessons from the 100 days of rejection.

  1. Asking “why” can often turn a “no” into a “yes”.

    Very often, rejection is not on a personal level. Rather, rejection often results from a lack of understanding of our client’s needs. Let’s learn more about our client’s wants and needs and ask “why”.

  2. Use empathy to break down barriers

    The ” why” and the knowledge of the customer’s needs are closely related to the “how” and the question of “how does our counterpart think”. As soon as we understand how our customer feels and thinks, we can react appropriately and tailor our response to the respective situation. Building trust is often the key to our success.

  3. Persistence is rewarded

    We should not give up too quickly after an initial “no”. Maybe the timing is just not right. There may be numerous reasons why we may experience rejection in this situation. Let’s stay on the ball, stay in touch and let’s always discreetly, but respectfully step on our client’s toes.

  4. Let’s master the right way to deal with rejection

    Once we realise that we are actually defined by our reaction to rejection and not by the rejection itself, we can unlock unimagined potential within ourselves. Let’s welcome rejection with open arms and build on it with purpose and determination.

  5. Rejection as a gift

    Once we can see rejection as a necessary and important part of our success and perceive it as a gift and not a dead end, only then can we truly be successful.

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