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sales rejection

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If sales rejection makes you uncomfortable, you’re not alone. It’s a big club. But today, my next guest, David Rose is going to show us how we can drop kick sales rejection and close more deals by revealing the most common forms of sales rejection and how to overcome them.

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What You’ll Discover About Sales Rejection (highlights & transcript):

sales rejection* The biggest category of sales rejection [2:09]

* The role of mind blocks as a form of sales rejection [5:04]

* Overcoming fear of the sales process [5:28]

* The buyer’s biggest reason for sales rejection [7:49]

* The easiest way for a seller to conquer mind blocks [9:02]

* How to turn pushiness into persistence [11:41]

* International cultural factors that contribute to sales rejection [14:44]

* And MUCH more.





Hanna Hasl-Kelchner: [00:00:00] If sales rejection makes you uncomfortable, you’re not alone. It’s a big club, but my next guest, David Rose, is going to show us how we can dropkick sales rejection and close more deals. Stay tuned.


Announcer: [00:00:15] This is Business Confidential Now with Hanna Hasl-Kelchner helping your see business issues hiding in plain view that matter to your bottom line.


Hanna: [00:00:27] Welcome to Business Confidential Now, I’m your host, Hanna Hasl-Kelchner, and today’s guest is David Rose, an accomplished CEO, serial entrepreneur, business speaker, university advisor, board member and author of the book Overcoming the 15 Categories of Rejection Master: How to Turn No to Yes.


Hanna: [00:00:49] David works with business leaders around the world to help them substantially grow their revenue and profits with innovative strategies and tactics. And he’s delivered over two billion in revenue. Yes, billion with a B in revenue to his clients using his proprietary methodologies. David is also a quoted source to business media and a trusted advisor to startups, small and medium sized businesses, as well as Fortune 500 companies. So it’s a pleasure to have him with us today.


Hanna: [00:01:18] Welcome to Business Confidential Now, David.


David Rose: [00:01:21] Hello. Thank you so much for having me. It’s really an honor and a pleasure to be here.


Hanna: [00:01:27] Well, the pleasure’s all mine, let’s see 15 categories of rejection. Now, that’s a LOT of rejection, David.


David: [00:01:34] I guess it is. However, on the flip side of things, Hanna, had I not been the first person to tell you that out of the thousands of ways to be told no and rejected in the world for anything imaginable, that it only fits into 15 categories, you probably wouldn’t have known that. And just that concept itself, that all the ways in the universe, the world to be told, no, you can categorize them, that was an unknown concept up until recently.



Hanna: [00:02:09] Well, it sounds like you don’t like to take no for an answer. And so I’m curious, in your experience, where do people get stuck most often with rejection in the sales process?


David: [00:02:22] Oh, great question. And I got a prelude that I know you don’t like to take No for an answer either, but in the sales world it starts with. . . it’s truly the first category of rejection, Hanna, which is Mind Blocks. Mind Blocks is where most sales people lose the battle.  And a Mind Block, it was one of the harder categories to discover and sort of culminate many commonalities and common reasons into a category, a typology, that Mind Blocks just because it’s hidden and you don’t think of it.


David: [00:03:00] Money is a category. You know, maybe the buyer doesn’t have enough money. Sure, well obvious, compensation or something to trade. People know and just intuitively get that a category of rejection involves monetary money and exchange of goods or services, but they easily overlook that Mind Blocks, which are those things in our own mind or the mind of our audience, the person we’re looking to persuade. And these things will either hold us back, slow us down, or prevent us from going for something, or maybe just try something haphazardly. And that’s the answer. That’s what is most impacting in a negative way.


David: [00:03:43] Sales people in any industry you can think of, that’s the common thread. It’s just a battle in my own mind every day to succeed. Will I make it? Am I good enough? Hey, it’s time, Mr. or Mrs. Salesman, to ask the buyer for the deal. And that’s what they’re saying in their head. That’s what they’re hearing. And they do, “Well Hanna, you know, I mean, that’s the deal. I hope you take it.” That’s not a good close. And that started in their mind and Mind Blocks come out many forms, and that’s what folks have to defeat first.


Hanna: [00:04:17] That’s interesting because you’re right. I don’t like to take no for an answer. I don’t know anybody that does, quite frankly. And Mind Blocks, it sounds kind of mysterious. What are some of the most common Mind Blocks that you come across from the perspective of the seller and then I want to flip it to the perspective of the buyer.


David: [00:04:41] Great. Yeah. You need to role play in your own mind ahead of time what these things are so you can knock out the barriers in your mind and be prepared to avoid or overcome those Mind Blocks in the buyer’s mind. So you need to think about that ahead of time. It’s an especially good question.




David: [00:05:04] In the mind of the seller it’s really a level of fear that strikes people most, that holds them back, fear of failure, just, you know, dealing with . . . there’s so many cliches and so many great motivational speakers have said it very eloquently in many fashions. But it really boils down to see fears in your mind.


David: [00:05:28] We control fear or it controls us and it’s that fear of failure. And if you just come to grips with: so what now? What if, hey, you know, OK, I’ll fail and then I’ll try again. Of course, we only lose if we stay down. If we keep getting up, right, we’re going to stay in the game and win. And fear of failure somehow stops people in their tracks. It makes people wake up on the wrong side of the bed because in the back of their mind, that’s what they have. I don’t know if I’ll make it today or you know what? I made it last week. This is fear of failure for champions right here.


David: [00:06:05] Think about this. And I’ve heard this in many interviews with successful athletes and business people around the world where they say . . . we are, it’s absurd, right? Well, how do you have a fear of failure Mrs. Champion or Mr. Champion? You’ve been a champion in your field for 5 years, 10 years, 20 years? Aren’t you over that? No, because the fear of getting knocked off the pedestal is even with those folks that do well.


David: [00:06:31] So you’re constantly battling that field. You achieve the championship and the next year, every team, every other salesperson is gunning for you and your numbers. So that’s the one that comes up the most.


David: [00:06:43] Another one is from a Mind Block perspective, the inability to envision yourself, that inability to envision yourself winning. With Mind Blocks one of the greatest overcoming techniques is meditation and seeing yourself succeed visually. So a Mind Block for people is just when they start to . . . I’ve seen this in many exercises and some clinical exercises where a simple thing, if I just say, hey, what do you want in life? And you say, this is you know, I want to achieve this and I want to go in and just real quick envision yourself achieve. What it’s like now? No problem.


David: [00:07:30] Sounds simple, but Mind Blocks for someone that has to do that by themself. They get stopped in their tracks and they find that they freeze up in their brain and then their attention span goes somewhere else. So that inability to believe in oneself is another Mind Block.




David: [00:07:49] And then let me follow up here, Hanna. From the perspective of the buyer?


Hanna: [00:07:53] Yeah.


David: [00:07:54] The biggest Mind Block that comes up is being duped, that they’re not getting a good deal or they’re not getting the product they want, just being duped. It’s often you hear folks talk about that prior to the purchase. “You know, I don’t know, I mean, I don’t know. Is it gonna . . . hmmmm.” They get they really get locked inside of their own brain around “I want it, but I don’t want to have a buyer’s regret of buyer’s remorse.”


David: [00:08:21] And so being able to know that about people and talk to them using some neurolinguistic programing, such as, you know, “well, how do you think you’ll feel? How will that feel to achieve it?” Yeah, OK. Now, why do you want that? What’s that going to do for you? Just understanding what your solution product service means in their life and the people in their sphere of influence, people, those people’s lives, that helps the buyer unlock themselves and say, yes, those are great tips for helping a buyer unlock a Mind Block to help frame it, put it in perspective and ask them those questions to help them with their analysis.




Hanna: [00:09:02] Help me understand, though, how a seller can overcome Mind Blocks, because, you know, it’s one thing to say, oh, what do you got to fear just get up and go for it, you know? But fear can paralyze people, and that’s easier said than done. What are some helpful ways that really can help a seller push through that kind of a block?


David: [00:09:24] Oh, it’s accountability. It’s almost imperative for achieving success over long, long periods of time; having that network, that best friend or that person, that mentor, whoever that may be in your corner, you know, maybe it’s a father or a mother. But, that’s the biggest factor. When you can talk these things out with people, (1) admit it so you get out of denial and you speak to it with someone else who either they just listen or they offer some advice. But just in that act itself of sharing, you start to unhandcuffed yourself. And of course, as accountability works very well for many subjects, you unhandcuffed yourself from the fear and handcuff yourself to this, “Hey, you know what? I got to do this.” And you build that courage.


David: [00:10:20] So that’s one of the things that we’ll do instead of doing formal mentor programs out in the sales world, sometimes just buddy sales people up in twos or threes and let them work on their Mind Blocks and talk them out. And we’ll have a meet, either every three weeks or sometimes every four weeks. So we don’t do it every other week. We try to keep them busy selling. But just that factor of partnering with somebody and being able to admit it, tell somebody that, you know, hey, you didn’t you didn’t fix it this week, but you’re going to work harder next week, puts you in the right direction, gives you a little perspective.


Hanna: [00:10:56] I understand. One thing that I think some people have an aversion to., I mean, if you’re a professional salesperson, you’re buying into the profession, you know, this is who you are. But I think there’s a lot of small business owners and maybe even medium sized business owners where they’ve started their enterprise and their expertise isn’t necessarily sales.


Hanna: [00:11:20] I mean, they know it’s a necessary part of the business. It’s a very important part, because without it, you’re not going to bring in revenue. It’s not going to sell itself necessarily as much as people would love to have that happen. And I think one of the things and maybe this is a Mind Block, you tell me, there’s a fear of being pushy and . . .


David: [00:11:40] Oh, wow, yeah.




Hanna: [00:11:41] . . . What’s the difference between pushy and persistent besides spelling, I mean, you know, give me something real.


David: [00:11:50] All right. Well, in the book, Overcoming the 15 Categories of Rejection I often refer to, and I’ve done this for . . . to give away some of my age, I’ve done it for 20 years. . . I call it the three Ps. It’s my three Ps: professional, polite, persistent. So to your point, Hanna, you just have to start to accept the fact that, hey, I’m not going to be too pushy as long as I’m professional and polite.


David: [00:12:20] That’s OK. You have to rationalize it with yourself first of all. I have trained many, many people in different countries around the world, and it always starts with that rationalization every time for them to start to have something to go, “OK, so I’m not going to embarrass myself or look silly or junior level or make them mad and never want to talk to me again.” You just have to say, well, look, as long as I’m professional and polite, I can be persistent. Right? I mean, isn’t that how it works in your world? Right? Yeah. Hey, that’s Rational. The three P’s.


David: [00:12:58] And now we go to the other poler side, the other, opposite perspective here. And this is where it gets a little radical. Now we have to put a metric and an accountability on the number of goal shots. I like to refer to them going through the close, asking for what you want. Let’s call it goal shot. You have to put a number out there. So because otherwise it’s subjective. OK, you’re right. Hey, thanks, coach. I’m asking for what I want more. That’s subjective. You know, we have to measure the success rate and the quality of the ask. But what we do amidst all of that is we give the rational anchor for, hey, it’s OK, OK, it’s OK. And then we give a number of how many times they have to ask.


David: [00:13:43] That’s where it gets uncomfortable. And they’re like, what? So what is that number? Well, this shocks a lot of people. Probably not you, but you need to ask at least seven times. Yeah. I would tell my kids . . . like, you know . . . go . . . to walk away. If they just kept asking me over and over. Of course you would. If your kid said, can I have ice cream? No, not right now. Can I have ice cream? No, no, dear not right now. Can I have ice cream? You can’t have ice cream. Can I have ice cream? Obvious.


David: [00:14:15] But if you contort your goal shot in those seven asks or more where it’s always a little different, always a variance and you use what you just learned from that person’s rejection in your rebuttal, you’re just having a conversation like you and me. And people like that. People don’t mind the conversation. You know, we learn. We share, we do. If we talk here, we’re heard. That’s magical. So that’s the magic right there Hanna.


Hanna: [00:14:44] That’s very interesting. And I really like the part where you said you’re incorporating part of the rationale for no, that’s assuming you get the rationale because your ice cream examples are like no is no. hat part of no isn’t clear? N.O. No! But hopefully when you’re having conversations with a customer, a client, a patient, a guest, whatever you call the person or the entity that you’re doing business with, they’re giving you some reason for why they’re saying no. And like you said, you can incorporate that into the next round and address those objections in a polite, professional way. So this is good.




Hanna: [00:14:44] But, you know, you said something earlier that I like to circle back to. You talked about how you deal with clients around the world and everybody kind of has this fear. That’s a universal emotion. That’s very clear. But I’m wondering, in your travels and your experience, are there some differences between parts of the world as far as how the sales process is approached or certain types of Mine Blocks that come up or types of rejections that are more frequent than another? I mean, are there some discernible differences?


David: [00:15:59] Yeah, the cultural aspects certainly have to be grappled with and aware of. I mean, a very famous one which impacts the you know, the persuasion capability is personal distance. And I think as most business people have become aware through some study or, you know, experience or story from a friend is, you know, hey, while visiting other countries, the amount of personal distance that you have between one yourself and someone else, you know, can either be tighter or. . . Or you could drive a bus between us, you know, for their comfort zone. Now, of course, this is pre pandemic where we’re masks and six feet is safe precautions that are blasted on every poster in every room you walk in. So that puts a little bit of a different spin on things. But pre pandemic, and at some point we’re going to get back to shaking hands again, being aware of that personal distance is key.


David: [00:17:10] And we found that it creates a big problem. It creates a lot of likability, Hanna, is a category of rejection. And we found in some studies that when people are having their personal space encroached upon, then it starts to impact other categories of rejection, likability being a key. You know, why would you like someone that seems to be standing too far away from you . . . I’m trying to talk to you . . . or this weird, in your definition of weird, because they’re way too close to you. So that’s that one is simple. But it impacts other categories. If it gets out of control, I would point that out.




Hanna: [00:17:49] Very good to know your book, Overcoming the 15 Categories of Rejection. How did you go about researching that?


David: [00:17:59] Oh Lordy, yes, so I don’t do a lot of public speaking, but I do some, you know, several times a year at best and some lecturing. I was asked to speak to a large executive crowd and I of course, you say, well, what do you want me to speak about? The gentleman said I would want . . . they deal with revenue and like rejection. Do rejection. Perfect. So I just thought I could jump online and get the categories of rejection and it would help me prepare to go talk to this crowd.


David: [00:18:40] However, most Internet searches couldn’t answer this question. It’s like that didn’t happened. So I went to the library, Hanna. It was like out of a movie. The librarian was a very picturesque sort of what you would expect out of the movies. A lady with a beehive hairdo and horn-rimmed glasses. . .


Hanna: [00:19:06] No way.


David: [00:19:09] I always regret I didn’t remember her name or get her name or just . . . I don’t have that, but I can still see her.


David: [00:19:17] So that’s the person that sort of sets it . . . that really opened my eyes to this. And she wants to look it up and can’t find it. She gets another librarian, a gentleman to come over and we go and we’re pulling drawers on something like maybe it’s Dewey Decimal System. The computer doesn’t have it. We’re going manual. And then she says, “You know, I’ve never seen anything like that. I’ve been a librarian for a long time. It might be something you have to look into.”


David: [00:19:45] And I said, oh, OK. But I didn’t think anything about it. I just thought, look into. . . yeah, like, you know, like I was on a board for a university, I’ll go to the board. So I went to see the Dean, Dr. Sager at the University of North Texas. I asked him about these categories of rejection. I’m looking into it. I’m coming here to go to the source. And so he whistles out his doorway of his office. All these professors come in. I guess that’s the call. You whistle . . . oh, Dean needs us. I tell them what you want he said.


David: [00:20:16] So I tell them what I’m looking for. I’m like I’m at the library, I’m digging into this and trying to figure this out. And one of the gentlemen, Professor Terry said, yeah, that’s the typology, David, of rejection. Thought about it years ago. It doesn’t exist.


David: [00:20:33] I was like, oh what? It’s typology? It’s like the types of something. OK, thanks for the new word and thanks for the challenge. That’s the same thing I just heard a librarian say. So that started it. I thought I could do it in a year. It took a little over ten years, a lot more money than I expected to invest in the research process, doing surveys, research and interviews throughout the US and Canada.


David: [00:21:01] Within the first couple of years, things came up with your very astute question, what about the cultures? How does that play a part? Sort of like, oh, so I realized and I wasn’t even close to knowing and having it definitive, what the categories were, that academia and other folks back up what my claim would be which they have done. So it just became a very long . . . another year, another year, another year, process. And a little over ten years we knew we had it. I knew I knew we had it, that that was a long journey.


Hanna: [00:21:34] Well, I’m glad you hit bottom. I can understand. I’m in the process of researching and writing another book myself, and just when you think like, OK, I got it, you open up something else that’s just another door to another rabbit hole. It’s like, OK, now this needs to be added too. So I totally understand the challenge. It’s part of the fun. It’s putting together a humongous jigsaw puzzle. And I’m glad that you did it because, you know, we all live with rejection in one form or another.


Hanna: [00:22:02] It’s not a new concept, but it’s nice to have a framework around it because then you can start to dig a little deeper and say, OK, yeah, this keeps popping up again and again. What can I do about it? How can I get my arms around it so it doesn’t annoy me as much? I was going to say a different kind of word. But, so yeah, so I don’t get so upset. All right. I will put a more professional spin on it.




Hanna: [00:22:29] In your 10-year journey, which is really it’s a remarkable period of time, but in some ways it’s not surprising when you think about all the nooks and crannies that are involved in this. What was the one thing about sales rejection that surprised you in all of your research?


David: [00:22:45] Oh, without a doubt. Let me let me contrast this. The thing that was not surprising was the likability category, which I’d love to follow up with a quick story about likability. But to your point, the one that surprised me the most, likability . . . . we all know, hey, you know, I like that guy, I want to deal with that guy, hey, this lady really gets on my nerves, I don’t want her to be my sales person. Yeah, sure likability.


David: [00:23:12] But the thing that you wouldn’t really think about. Well, perhaps, you know, perhaps you would. But we saw it was overlooked by most people was moratorium, a ban, a moratorium or a ban. It’s one of the more rare of the 15 categories of rejection that exist. But it’s out there. And in just some situations you come into, it may be either formal or not.


David: [00:23:44] I mean, it could be a law. A law is a form of a moratorium or ban. Right? I mean, prohibiting the sale of fireworks to a citizen in the US except during New Year’s and the Fourth of July. That’s a ban. So that one was actually surprising to see how it plays out in the sales world because a lot of times moratoriums or bans or more of the precedent.


David: [00:24:07] Well, that’s just how we do it here. It’s not, we don’t, that’s not how we do it here. Yeah, no, we’ve never done it like that as long as I’ve been here for 8 years or 12 years. Or the board has said a moratorium: there will be no more consultants in 2021. We have to do things on our . . . .  these are examples of bans and moratoriums.


David: [00:24:27] That one, the surprising factor about them is how they can be turned around. Where most folks think that’s the law, forget about it. You know, it’s always been done that way. The board said, no, we can’t talk the CEO into it or we can’t talk, you know, the manager into it because the CEO put a restriction on it.


David: [00:24:51] Well, come to find out, you just go to the source and you work for there. Most people try to work from the point of contact they’re at. It’s not going to work with the ban or a moratorium. You need to go to the highest-ranking authority as possible. And from there you get a good shot. That surprised most people because they just walk away.


Hanna: [00:25:11] Yeah, interesting, because when peccadilloes become policy, that’s when you get those types of things. So that’s really fascinating. Very good. So again, the book is Overcoming the 15 Categories of Rejection: Master How to Turn No to Yes. And my guest today, David Rose, thank you so much for joining me today. David, this has been a blast.


Hanna: [00:25:32] My pleasure. You’re so much fun. Thank you.


Hanna: [00:25:34] That’s our show for today. But don’t go anywhere. I have a really easy ask for you. Would you please open your podcast app and give us a five-star review and leave a comment about what you love most about the show? I do read them all and it’ll take you less than a minute. And while you’re at it, share this episode, tell someone about it, because the best way to grow our audience is by word of mouth. And if you want the detailed show notes, links to connect with my guest or stuff that we talked about, even if you want to ask a question or have a show idea, come on over to


Hanna: [00:26:06] I’ll catch you on the next episode. And in the meantime, have a great day and even better tomorrow.

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Guest: David Rose

David RoseDavid Rose, an accomplished CEO, serial entrepreneur, business speaker, university adviser, board member and author of the  book Overcoming The 15 Categories of Rejection: Master How to Turn NO to YES.

David works with business leaders around the world to help them substantially grow their revenue and profits with innovative strategies and tactics and has delivered over $2 billion in revenue to his clients using his proprietary methodologies. David is also a quoted source to business media and a trusted advisor to start-ups, small and medium size businesses as well as Fortune 500 companies.

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