Technical Sales Engineer: Top Ways to Handle Rejection

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Rejection can be the ultimate motivation killer for a Technical Sales Engineer.

Oftentimes, experiencing rejection extinguishes that fire of motivation burning inside, like a wet blanket thrown over a birthday candle. For some technical sales engineers, too much rejection can cause them to lose their drive to keep pushing through and making those sales calls.

Having a negative response to rejection is the best way to derail your goals, your vision, and your life’s mission.

What follows will give technical sales engineers the mental and emotional tools needed to not only accept rejection, but welcome it! In fact, if you learn how to properly filter rejection, it could be the catalyst to your greatest success as a technical sales engineer.

Watch the video by Kyle Milan, on this same topic here:

Roots of Rejection

Have you had the painful childhood experience of being rejected?

Maybe you weren’t the first to be selected for a neighborhood game of basketball. Maybe you were teased by kids because of some physical feature, a personality quirk, or some other reason. Perhaps you didn’t get asked to the senior year prom by the guy of your dreams; or maybe she turned you down when you asked her to go out for a movie and ice cream.

Whatever your situation, the truth is that many of us have experienced the pain of rejection in our childhood and were deeply impacted from the experience. The first step to handling rejection like a real boss is to reframe the experience of rejection.

Technical sales engineers need to stop taking rejection personally. Face it, kids are particularly dumb and immature. So you really shouldn’t put too much weight on rejection you faced as a kid, from other kids, because kids just say and do dumb stuff!

And as a child, you’re not fully emotionally and mentally equipped to deal with the point-blank trauma of bullying, teasing, abandonment, and other forms of rejection. So, you grew up thinking you were not as valuable as a human being because you didn’t feel like you were as attractive, funny, athletic, congenial, smart, or strong-willed as the “cool kids” on campus. Yet, you have breathe in your lungs, a head on your shoulders, and you’re here, reading this…which means you’re alive!

You have just as much value as any other human being walking this planet. We all put our pants on one leg at a time and you have everything you need to do everything you are created to do.

Now, as an adult, you need to realize that most people are indifferent towards you – they can take you or leave you. A small percentage of people will never like you, regardless of how great of a job you do, the style of clothes you wear, or the jokes you tell. Then, thankfully, there’s another percentage of people who like you and always will be fans, regardless of what you do wrong! Thank God for these people, right?

Stop trying to please the people who will ALWAYS reject you. Take their “no” as great feedback that you need to quickly move on to the next prospect! But wait. You had better be sure you actually got a “no” before moving on. The reality is that most technical sales engineers stop following up with prospects too soon. They don’t get a firm “no” and yet they stop following up.

Don’t let that be you. Be a professional technical sales engineer. Develop a “buy or die” mentality. In other words, you will keep following up with them until they either buy or say “NO”.

If you want to learn more, consider enrolling at Industrial Sales University


Build an Appreciation for the Value of Your Position

It’s important to note that individuals respond to rejection in different ways, and the intensity and duration of these negative experiences can vary. Seeking support from friends, family, or mental health professionals can be crucial in navigating and coping with the emotional aftermath of rejection.

But please note that you are in a professional job position – as a technical sales engineer – to deal directly with a lot of rejection.

Frankly, all technical sales engineers deal with rejection, and lots of it. Technical sales engineers play a critical role in the success of industrial and manufacturing companies. You stand on the very frontlines of the point of sale, after all.

The actual position of a technical sales engineer means that you’re the first to know if you’ve won the new deal or been turned down. Whichever way a prospect chooses to go, the technical sales engineer will know first and foremost, because you’re the one driving the most important decision your prospects make concerning the success of the company you sell for.

By virtue of where you stand in the corporate relationship between your company and your prospect, you will be the soldier to experience the blunt force trauma of a prospect’s “NO!” to your proposal.

Play the Number’s Game

The most professional and successful technical sales engineers are not just those who make big money and get lots of wins, they are those who hear a LOT of “NO’s” without losing ANY sleep or questioning their value as a person.

Actually, these technical sales engineers have experienced more rejection than you have, knowing that sales success really comes down to being a numbers game.

When you get good at pitching your product, connecting with people on a human level, building a solid sales and marketing prospect pipeline, it really boils down to being a numbers game from there.

Technical sales engineering success boils down to being a numbers game. The more “no’s” you hear mean the more “yeses” you’ll hear! So, figure out how many deals you want to win and don’t ever forget to calculate the number of rejections you’ll experience to get to your wins.

Perfect Antidote to the Sting of Rejection

If you want to build a bullet-proof immunity to the sting of rejection then you need to fill your sales pipeline and keep it full. The more people that you have in your pipeline, the less effect a rejection will have on your motivation. By focusing all of your efforts on building the pipeline, you can remove the emotional connection you will have when someone tells you “no”.

Grow From Every “No”

There’s one practice that you can implement that will catapult your technical sales engineering success to the top of the industry at a break-neck speed. But only the hungriest players possess the courage to take this bold step. Most would rather burry their heads in the sand or just…move on.

But if you learn to do this with some of the rejected proposals you really thought you’d get, you will up your emotional IG, self-awareness, and perfect your technical sales engineering game.

Prospect Surveys

That action is prospect debriefing. This just means that you reach out to prospects who have rejected your proposal – they said “No” – and ask them a few survey questions regarding the reasons for their decision.

Take these responses and file them in one place. Put the various reasons into categories. This will teach you exactly the problems you may be totally blind to see. Perhaps their reasons will boil down to the fragrance you wear activating their allergies. Or, maybe it’s bad press regarding the brand and company you’re selling for. Either way, the responses you get will help you course correct and effectively plug up any weak points in your technical sales engineering game.

If you take action on these, you’ll make more money than ever and skyrocket to the top.

If you want to learn more, consider enrolling at Industrial Sales University