Good article here from titled Reject Me, Please.  Handling rejection just may be the most important trait of any strong salesperson.  Rejection is the key differentiation between sales and all other positions.  Salespeople have to be able to handle this topic well.

Excellent sales people realize it’s about the products and service, and not them. They may have represented the product poorly and answered questions about the services ineptly, but nonetheless, the opposition is about what’s being sold, not the seller. This ability to distinguish between the purveyor and the purveyed I call Separation Clarity.

Well stated and I am now a fan of the phrase “separation clarity.”  I tend to tell salespeople that sales is what you do, it is not who you are – almost like an actor in a play.

Here is the reason why this separation is difficult for many:

Successful salespeople have support networks. They do not rely on random others’ feedback, or approval, or validation, or even communication. They know who they are and are bolstered by their loved ones, colleagues, friends, and acquaintances.
      Personally, I’ve seen very few top salespeople who don’t have great loves in their life, or close friends, or family of some kind. Thus, this is the Appropriate Love Factor. You don’t need your prospect, client, or buyer to love you.

Exactly.  Too often salespeople confuse rapport with relationship.  The need is to establish rapport with the prospect and earn their respect.  It is not wise to target a personal relationship with a prospect since that approach is what leads to the difficulty in handling rejection.

Notice I wrote “prospect.”  Close relationships can develop with customers over time, but that should not be the salesperson’s motivation.

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