Let Rejection Move You Forward

how to handle rejection in direct salesThe first time I tried to sponsor a new consultant onto my team, it was a horrible experience.

Here’s what happened.

I had really started to get my bookings skills perfected – had 2 or 3 per week on my calendar.

So I was ready to take the next step – building my team.

Don’t get me wrong – if you were a brand new consultant that I was coaching, I’d be encouraging you to start sponsoring from Day One – but that’s not how my business was built. (I didn’t have anyone mentoring or coaching me, so I learned a lot of things the hard way!)

My Manager was offering an incentive to earn a wonderful bag that could hold all of my samples – and I really wanted to earn that bag (Mind you – I didn’t start working on this until 3 days before the deadline!)

I had a party with a sharp woman named Carol (who I now equate to the evil “Voldemort” in the Harry Potter movies – even typing her name makes the hair go up on my neck).

I asked Carol if she’d like to learn more about our business opportunity, and she agreed. We set-up a time to meet the next day.

(Yes – I was doing the happy dance all the way home!)

I showed up promptly at 10am at Carol’s home the next day, had a ton of fun getting to know Carol, and I reviewed all the details about my company’s opportunity plan.

When I asked her “What do you think,” Carol responded that she needed to think about it.

I knew I had a deadline – two days at this point – to be exact.

So I asked Carol if I could come back again in the next day or two.

We set an appointment for two days out.

(Once again – happy dance all the day home – I just KNEW that Carol was going to sign.)

Two days later, when I arrived at Carol’s home – promptly at 10am – just as I was about to ring the doorbell, the door flew open, and Carol said, “I think you’re the most pushy, aggressive, horrible person – and I don’t want to talk to you about your company.”
And she shut the door.

I was devastated.

Went back to my car and cried all the way home.

I kept going through all of our discussions. We had fun, she asked a lot of questions, I thought we had bonded.

That experience completely shut me down – because I chose to take it personally.

I didn’t even think about sponsoring for another year in my business because I was so wounded from that experience.

So what could I have done differently to let that rejection propel me forward.

Now – after all of my experience building my business, here’s what I would have done differently (or would recommend to my coaching students).

1) Think back through my “sponsoring experience” with Carol to give it an honest evaluation.

Did I say something wrong? Did I listen carefully to Carol? Did I take a sincere interest in Carol? Were my “own needs” pushed to the side, so this experience was totally about what was best for Carol?

2) What can I learn from this experience to help me with my future prospects?

One of the things I love about direct sales is that you have full permission to learn.
If you messed up with a prospect, you messed up. You can certainly “fix it” by apologizing and explaining that you’re really new and excited about building your team and sharing this opportunity – and that you’re sorry you let your enthusiasm get you off track.

It’s OK if you messed it up! From my perspective, that experience was meant to help you learn quickly!

3) I’ve loved horses all my life. In the “horse world,” if you get bucked off your horse, what is most important is to get back in the saddle again. Immediately. You don’t want that horse thinking that kind of behavior is acceptable. You don’t want the horse “to win.”

If you are rejected by a prospect, the same principle applies. You need to connect with your next prospect immediately!

Let that rejection help you learn, improve your skills, don’t take it personally, and become your very best friend to help you move your business forward.

The rest of the story…

A few months later, I ran into one of Carol’s friends at another party. I asked if she had connected with Carol lately, and she explained that Carol was going through a rough time in her personal life – or more accurately – in her love life.

Turns out that the day I showed up at Carol’s door, she had just returned from bailing out her boyfriend. He had been out all night, and was picked up for a DUI, and she was in the midst of dealing with those issues.

I was in the wrong place, at the wrong time.

You never know what’s going on with your prospects. Just keep offering your business opportunity, with the full intention of letting that prospect determine whether or not it’s a good match at this time in their life – and your business will explode!

I’d love your comments below! Please also share this story through Facebook to help others!


  1. Very true, Susie. If a prospect says no they are not rejecting you, they are saying no to the opportunity. It might just not be the right time. When a prospect says no I ask if I can contact them at another time about the opportunity.

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