How to Handle Rejection in Sales Calls


Even in 2023, sales calls are still an important part of business. The Internet has done a lot to help perfect the sales process, but there will always be room for improvement. And no matter how good your sales pitch or calling tactics are, there will always be some rejection. The important thing is that you don’t take it personally or let it ruin the rest of your calls for the day—one rejection is a stepping stone to an eventual conversion. 

It would be arrogant for a business to assume that it would get every single sales call perfectly right and convince each caller to convert in some fashion. There are going to be plenty of calls, Internet leads, and other connections that you make that go nowhere—don’t count them out. They happen, but they can teach you how to improve things moving forward to reduce the risk of getting rejected again. 

Handling rejection is difficult, but it’s a practice worth learning. Here are some things to keep in mind. 

Why did they say no?

This is the first question that you need to ask. Some people say no because your sales pitch wasn’t effective or you didn’t address their needs. Others opt to turn down your offer in the call because they were woefully unprepared for such a call in the first place. And then, of course, some say no because they were never interested, and never really will be. 

If you are getting rejections from people who don’t have a need for your product or service, that’s a sign to shift gears and reassess your audience and the types of customers that you seek out. In some cases, people may just not need whatever you have to offer. In other cases, they might already have made up their mind to go another route. But if you don’t find out, you’ll never know. 

Review the sales strategy and methodology

In the event that you did do something that impacted the decision, it’s going to be a good idea to review your sales strategies and the methodology that you use to conduct your sales calls. Is there something that you could improve? How are those who are landing the leads handling their sales calls? There is a lot to learn here and if you are open to it, you will find that it’s easier than you think to improve your sales calls. 

Not only that, but taking an active role in figuring out where things went wrong will help you see that there are some instances where nothing went wrong, but something just didn’t work out. You can’t know how to make corrections until you have reports on how things are doing at the current moment. 

Focus on your next opportunities 

You’re going to get a lot more rejections than you will get conversions in business. That’s just the way that it goes. Instead of focusing on the rejections, you will need to look at the next opportunities coming down the pipeline. With the exception of certain remarketing efforts, you can’t really do much when someone says “no”. That’s why it’s best to use your energy on other leads that may say “yes” instead. 

Focus on the next opportunity, not the last one, if you want to get through rejection and learn how to become a sales expert. 

Utilize the calls to practice listening, responding, and other skills 

Even if people are rejecting your sales pitches, you can still utilize sales calls to practice your own skills in listening and responding to people. Conversations are not easy, and especially not over the phone. The more practice you get, the better. You should take advantage of all your sales calls, good and bad, to review your skills and make improvements. That will ensure that you are better prepared for future calls, and more likely to be successful in getting a “yes” this time around. 

Observe other salespeople and take notes 

There’s little that you can do that’s better than copying what’s already working for others on your team. Observe what the other salespeople are doing, and how they’re connecting, converting, and getting customers on board. Find out how they handle rejection and what they do to move forward without getting into a rut. Ask questions. Listen in on sales calls. Get as much information and insight from the rest of the group as you possibly can. This will help you improve your own skills in selling over the phone and see what works, as well as what doesn’t. 

Improve your mindset

At the end of the day, a lot of it comes down to your mindset. What happens when you get a rejection? Is there a process that takes place, a thought or train of thoughts that runs through your mind, or a feeling of being “defeated” or “failing” in some way? If you are stuck in this rut, you need to figure out how to change your mindset. Of course,  people are going to say no. Your product(s) or service(s) are not for everyone. 

Learn how to handle rejection as a part of business, as well as understand which rejections you may be able to sway and which ones are set in stone from the moment they occur. 

Or, let someone handle the rejection for you

Another option is to outsource your sales calls to a dedicated team of virtual receptionists. They will be able to assist with all kinds of customer service and admin needs, including serving as your 24/7 answering service so that you never miss an opportunity again. They can also handle lead intake and screening to get the early weeds out of the way and make sure that you’re only following up on the most valuable leads. 

Not only that, but our team can assist with appointment scheduling and setting up your outreach campaigns to generate leads for those sales calls in the first place. To learn more, schedule a consultation or reach out to

Business Education
Sales Tips

Elizabeth Lockwood is the content marketing associate at She focuses specifically on writing and editing engaging articles, blog posts, and other forms of publication.

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