Sales people must develop a thick skin when it comes to rejection. As the late great salesperson extraordinaire Zig Zigler was fond of saying, “Timid salesmen have skinny kids.” But even though that’s true, that doesn’t mean repeated rejection doesn’t take a toll – and that’s why we so enjoyed Jia Jiang’s story about how he set out to develop a thicker skin and overcome his fear of rejection.
In his entertaining 15-minute TED talk on 100 days of rejection, Jiang talks about how he overcame an almost crippling fear of rejection by affirmatively seeking it out. He challenged himself to seek out rejection for 100 days by asking strangers to give or do things for him – many of them quite outlandish or odd. His talk about what he learned from the experience is a good lesson for us all, but might be particularly useful for younger or emerging salespople who haven’t had years of honing thier craft. Many agency CSRs are fantastic at service, but can experience some discomfort when they run into resistance as they venture into the sales territory. Jiang’s fun story might shed a different and helpful perspective.
He also has a website called Rejection Therapy where you can read about and see accompanying video clips for each of his 100 day challenges – some are quite amusing.
And once you’ve overcome your fear of rejection, you may want to check out our Zig Zigler post on Making the Close.