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Rethinking Rejection: How It Can Lead to Greater Success

Insurance Agent Development
Aug 2, 2022
minute read
Nectar Team
Rethinking Rejection: How It Can Lead to Greater Success

Sometimes, the insurance business can be like golf: No one ever talks about their bad games. When was the last time someone came in on a Monday morning and announced, “Listen up everybody! I played a TERRIBLE game Saturday, and I just wanted you all to know you shouldn’t pick me for that company tournament we have coming up.” Never. People love to talk about their successes. The problem with that is it creates a false reality, a perception that everyone is winning all the time.

But the truth is, you’re not always going to hit a 35 on the back nine. And it’s the same with your contemporaries. They’re getting rejected, too, because it’s simply part of the game. Once you accept that rejection is par for the course, you may not feel as bad about the occasional bogie. Here are some tips on how to rethink rejection and see it for what it is: a powerful learning tool for any insurance agent.

How You Can Flip the Script on Rejection

Flipping the script on rejection involves a few changes in mindset — either regarding how you view a certain situation, your insurance business in general, or yourself as a professional.

Understand that “No” is often temporary

Just because someone says no at first doesn’t mean their position won’t shift — either in the near future or down the road. In insurance, it’s best to play the long game. Short-term failures mean about as much as short-term successes: nothing.

Instead of hyper-focusing on the sting of rejection, hone in on the best way to handle it so you maintain a fruitful relationship — one that paves the way for a future “Yes!” Always be gracious and genuinely thank the person for their time and consideration.

If possible, find something specific to thank them for. For example, you could say, “Hey, I understand, thanks for letting me know. I also appreciated the way you spent so much time explaining your insurance needs. You didn’t have to do that. I appreciate it.”

In this way, you leave them with a good taste in their mouth, and they’ll be more likely to do an about-face in the future and give you a yes.

Use rejection to learn what works and what doesn’t

Rejection teaches you what works and what may need a little tweaking. When it comes to this, the only thing better than one rejection is two — or three. If you notice a pattern, it can be easier to pinpoint what you may be doing wrong.

For example, perhaps within the first two minutes of sitting down with someone to discuss their insurance needs, you find yourself showing them the different packages available, prices included. The shift in the conversation at this point is almost tangible, but you can’t quite put your finger on what the problem is. You just know that the person said no. But if it happens again, you got it: problem solved. So you start emphasizing the value of each option long before talking about numbers.

Each rejection comes with a different lesson. When you figure out what you were doing wrong, that’s something to celebrate.

Realize that failure doesn't exist

Failure is subjective. In most cases, it doesn’t really exist, especially when it comes to insurance. The key to having the right perspective on “failure” is looking at the big picture. You can ask yourself questions such as:

  • Was I able to provide for my family this month?
  • Is my business still going even though this one account didn’t pan out?
  • Am I fostering good relationships even if each one doesn’t turn into a sale?
  • Did I show genuine respect to a prospect even after they rejected my offer?

In most situations, the answers to these questions will be yes. If so, you’re not a failure because you’re still meeting your big picture objectives and succeeding when it comes to the most important things.

Keep track of your successes

Do you spend more time lamenting your losses or celebrating your successes? If you’re not sure, think about this: Do you give a single rejection so much power that it eclipses the joy of the most recent success? For too many businesspeople, the answer is yes.

One way to put rejections in their place is to keep careful track of your successes. This includes smaller accounts and repeat customers whom you “know” are going to say yes anyway. It may help to create a visual aid, such as a board filled with push pins. You can put a green one up for every success and a yellow one up for every rejection. Soon, every time you look at it, you’ll get a visual representation of the truth: You succeed more often than not.

Creating visual representations of your success can also help when it comes to assessing what works and what doesn’t, especially if you track your successes by the week or month. For example, suppose you have some scripts you started off using but left behind once you got more comfortable. That’s natural. But if you notice that you had more green pins than yellow during the months you were using those scripts, that could be some powerful feedback.

The same holds for other metrics, such as:

  • The days and times of day you make phone calls
  • How you feel before reaching out to someone (your mood can impact the success of the conversation)
  • Challenging life circumstances, such as a relationship issue or financial troubles, which could impact your ability to sell with a clear head

Reflecting on patterns of rejection and seeing if they correlate with extraneous factors can provide you with some valuable data.

Offset rejections with some easier sales

It’s good to schedule some easier sales immediately after getting rejected or before you try to close with a more challenging customer. Positioning easier sales in this way can add a little pep to your step if it’s on the heels of a rejection. Here are some ideas for people you can reach out to:

  • Longtime friends, perhaps people from high school or college, who may be more likely to give your offer a thumbs up
  • Family members with whom you have a good relationship
  • Repeat customers who have to renew their coverage

If you don’t value these kinds of sales as much as those you work tirelessly to convince, you may need to shift your perspective. There’s a good chance you value the hunt more than the catch.

Keep in mind that your personality, professionalism, and ability to build rapport with someone are beautifully displayed with every sale, regardless of how well you know the person. This is something to be proud of, and it should carry more weight than a rejection.

Assess your successes even when you're rejected

After a rejection, take some time to think about — and even write down — everything you did right. In many cases, this may reveal that the problem was something out of your control. More important, it gives you a chance to focus on effective habits that you can replicate during the next interaction. Here are some examples of what you may have done correctly:

  • Showed up for an appointment on time
  • Listened carefully to the prospect
  • Put yourself in their shows as you listened to what they were saying, showing genuine empathy
  • Carefully explained all of their options, including ways they could save money

On the other hand, if your list of things you did right is a little short, you’ve succeeded in a different way: You’ve discovered what you can improve on.

Maybe the Client Was Just Too Frugal

Sometimes, it’s truly not you; it’s them. This is especially true when the final issue is price. If you can’t offer something within their price range, that’s usually not your fault, and it certainly doesn’t have anything to do with you as a professional.

For example, your prospect may need a certain kind of insurance to adequately cover their business, but they never knew it until they sat down with you. For instance, they may have to get cyber insurance because they work with healthcare data. Before sitting down with you, they may have had a figure in mind regarding what they would have to pay for insurance. In fact, the figure may already have been on their books. When you explain why they need cyber insurance, you deflated their balloon. Even if it doesn’t cost that much, to them, it still costs too much. Hence, they say no.

That’s not your fault.

In other situations, the client may just be trying to get a good deal. After all, it feels great to pay less than you were expecting. In that case, they may reject any offer over $15 a month. Again, there’s not much you could’ve done to prevent that.

One way to reduce the number of rejections you have to deal with is by getting well-qualified leads in the first place. With Nectar, you can decide which criteria you want to use to vet your leads and adjust according to what works best. In this way, you can focus on motivated buyers who are more ready to commit to a sale. You can experience fewer rejections, even as you learn from the ones you still face.

With Nectar’s leads and a new perspective on rejections, you can flip the script on the negative rejection narrative. Now, if you could only do the same for your golf game.

This article reflects the features of Nectar as of the date of publication. Features are subject to change at any time. This article is meant for informational purposes only, it is not a guarantee that using Nectar will help you achieve specific business or financial results and is not intended to serve as the sole recommendation for any business financial decisions.


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