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How to Power Through Rejection

If you are an active phone-prospector, you are likely to hear NO often, perhaps as much as 9 out of every 10 conversations you have with prospects. It’s life in real estate sales, especially for those who play at the top of their game.

But the key to success in this business is to learn now to let rejection slide off of you, and to climb back on the proverbial horse.

You can’t get around rejection, but with the tips below, you can learn how to turn NO into both a motivator and the thing that drives you to make money by securing YESs that matter.

  • Don’t take it seriously. Rejection is part of the real estate prospecting game. The key is not to take is so seriously. Be sure you remind yourself before firing up Vulcan 7 that “not everybody today will need my service.” It’s an affirmation of reality, the reality that the vast majority of people really don’t need the services of a real estate agent at that moment. It’s a part of the real estate prospecting, so expect it and don’t overthink it.
  • Stick to the numbers. One way to help cope with the inevitability of rejection is to calculate and be comfortable with your sales ratio. By keeping track of your performance, you’ll know how many NOs you’ll have to get in order to get a YES with solid revenue potential. It almost becomes a game.
  • Rejections are not created equal. Understand the difference between the cold call prospect who hangs up on you and the prospect who says the time isn’t right. Anybody who has been in this business a long time knows that today’s NO can easily be tomorrow’s YES. Accept the reality of that person’s situation and stay in touch. Patience is key.
  • Maintain emotional distance. Handling rejection is totally a head game. Top performers in our business have emotional strength, and understand how to maintain emotional separation from others’ opinions, or negative attitudes. They know how to establish emotional boundaries, that allow them to focus on the sales process itself, instead of how a single rejection, or NO, might make the feel at that moment.
  • Teaching moments. Gain all the knowledge you can about why the deal didn’t work. Ask the customer or prospect why they chose not to work with you. Talk with other agents about times they’ve been unsuccessful. Turn rejections into opportunities to learn from experience and hone your skills.
  • Don’t take rejection personally. Perhaps rule #1 about selling is to NOT TAKE REJECTION PERSONALLY. When a prospect chooses not to work with you, many reasons can be at play: maybe their best friend is in real estate, maybe the timing isn’t right, or maybe you caught them in a bad mood. Whatever the reason, it’s not a reflection on you as a person. At all times your mantra should be: “This is not about me.”
  • Focus on long game. One bad day or even a handful of rejections won’t torpedo your long-term mission. Make sure you’ve set long term goals and plans for yourself and stay focused on those, or to use a popular expression, keep your eyes on the prize.
  • Celebrate your successes. Every day brings small successes. Take the time to write down two or three accomplishments daily to keep you motivated and focused on positive action. Remember: if you never get rejected, you probably aren’t pushing outside your comfort zone.

Finally, acknowledge your emotions. Yes, rejection is an expected part of life and particularly in sales-oriented industries likes real estate, but it never feels good. It’s fine to acknowledge it, but don’t let it impact the rest of your day. See it for what it is, and carry on with your mission.


Doug Spak has over four decades of experience as an advertising copywriter, agency creative director, blogger, and content creator. He joined Vulcan7 as a Content Specialist in 2016. In addition to ongoing website copy refreshes, Doug has produced over 300 blog posts while developing content for Vulcan7’s social media platforms.

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