"How are you getting along?" asked the old timer of the new sales rep.
"Not so good," came his disgusted reply. "I've been insulted in every place I made a call."
"That's funny," said the old timer. "I've been on the road 40 years. I've had my samples flung in the street, been tossed downstairs, man-handled by janitors and rolled in the gutter. But insulted—never!"
We all deal with rejection differently. But if you're in the sales game, you better get used to it because rejection is—and always will be—part of business. If it was easy to succeed in sales, everyone would want in. Rejection helps knock out the weak.
In doing my homework before corporate speeches, I often talk to the company's head of sales and ask what skills are necessary for a good sales rep in their industry. Dealing with rejection is always on the list because not everyone can handle all the rejections that are necessary in order to be successful. Too many people just give up. They don't realize that in order to get the yeses, you must hear the nos.
Here is my advice in dealing with rejection, because Lord knows, I've had plenty over my career:
Two men wrote a book containing a collection of inspirational stories. The two authors figured it would take about three months to find a publisher. What happened next is as inspirational as any of the stories in their book.
The first publisher they approached said, "NO."
The second publisher said "NO."
The third publisher said, "NO."
The next 30 publishers said, "NO."
Altogether, they received 33 rejections over a period of three years. So what did they do? They submitted their book to still another publisher.
The 34th publisher said, "YES."
After 33 rejections that one "Yes" launched the spectacular publishing success of "Chicken Soup for the Soul," written and compiled by my good friends Jack Canfield and Mark Victor Hansen. The "Chicken Soup for the Soul" series has so far sold more than 30 million copies—all because Canfield and Hansen had the willingness to fail over and over, but to keep going until they succeeded.
Mackay's Moral: Don't get dejected if you've been rejected—just get your skills perfected!