How To Turn The Tables On Rejection

Being rejected sucks. 


At some point in our lives, most of us have felt the burning shame of rejection from someone. It’s the very reason most of us don’t take risks in public and it’s something that, when it happens, can be hard to get past. 


Imagine dealing with that for a living. Yikes. 


Welcome, ladies and gentlemen, to the ego-bruising world of pitching to potential clients.


Dealing With Rejections and Objections


Yes, some people spend their days dealing with objections to their products and services – even when it’s going to provide real help to the very people they’re pitching to! 


Which is why there are a ton of sympathetic articles out there telling you everything from how to get over the fear of rejection (particularly in sales), to how not to take rejection personally.


Luckily for you, we’ve heard it all when it comes to objections, which is weird, because we do something that 99% of digital marketing agencies don’t. But, as a result, we’ve also learned a thing or two about turning things around, which is where we can help you too. 


And so, without further ado, here are five of the most common rejections and objections you’ll encounter when pitching your services and how to expertly overcome them. 


Quick note: this is written from the perspective of a digital marketer but most of them apply to whichever industry you’re working in. 


“X is cheaper.”

“Can you do it for X price instead?” 

“Is there a discount?”


Ah, the classic penny pincher.


That’s fine. I get it. Everyone loves a bargain. 


But here’s the rub: if you’re offering something of real value and are working hard to provide it, why should you lower your prices?


The simple answer is: most of the time, you shouldn’t. There are two ways to get around price-related rejections:



  • Outline the Value Of Your Product



Quite simply, reframe the issue. Show the prospect that your product doesn’t cost them money – it makes it for them! In Optimized Marketing’s case, we simply show prospects how spending money on our service leads to them getting more leads and making more money.


We have a ton of case studies, data-backed reports, and quick videos we can send them to prove this. And we guarantee to outperform your their current agency; so it’s truly no-risk. 


What can you use to demonstrate the value of your service?



  • Do They Really Need A Discount? (Use Sparingly)



One of the great paradoxes in business is that those who ask for discounts are quite often working for businesses that need one the least. If you’re being asked for a discount and you’re confident that your prospect has deep pockets, you could respond with: 


“Oh, you guys are having some cashflow challenges? I’m so sorry to hear that. Is that why you’re hiring a marketing agency – to fix those issues?”


However, this is a risky move. 


Because maybe your prospect actually does have cashflow issues; in which case you’re going to feel bad. Although, that said, it’s definitely a good thing to know this upfront so there’s no time wasted or shattered expectations. 


But if your prospect doesn’t actually have major cashflow issues (yay to that!), the next thing to come out of your mouth should be:


Is saving money or making money more important to you?”


The key in both methods is continuing the conversation; asking enough questions to get all the information you need to help your prospect.




“I’m not sure it’s right for us”

“I need to speak with someone before I can confirm”


We love it when people aren’t sure if what we’re selling is right for them. It will give you the chance to show them exactly what you do, meaning the only possible outcome is your prospect being desperate to work with you!


But doubters need to be led by the hand. So, if you’re facing someone who’s not sure, ask them:

“What made you come to us in the first place?”

Or, “What is it that’s causing the most headaches for your team day-to-day?”


These questions can really lead you to what I like to call ‘Solution Town’.


It’s an awful name. 


But, it’s a superb place to have the prospect talk themselves into needing your solution. 

(Pro tip: this is also a power negotiating move as it gets the prospect to sell themselves on exactly what matters to them *drops mic*.)


And the person who needs to speak with someone?


If your prospect needs to speak to someone higher up the food chain – aka the real decision-maker – you’ve got to create a sense of urgency: let them know that every second they spend waiting for an answer is costing their business money. And that’s not going to look good on them.


So try and get the decision-maker on a call right now.


If they really can’t get them on a call there and then, schedule a time to speak in the next 72 hours and – this point is crucial – ask your prospect what the decision-maker will want to know before that call. This allows you to cover all the known bases, while making life easier for your prospect – likely turning them into an advocate for your business.


Not For Me

“This strategy won’t work for me”

“This type of marketing hasn’t worked for me in the past, 

it’s just been a waste of my money and time.”

Your first thought when hearing this should be ‘Great!’.


That’s because this rejection gives you the opportunity to find out what’s gone down in the past. All you need to do is get them to talk about what went wrong, why it didn’t work, even how much money they wasted. 


Your only job here is to listen carefully to the details then show them why your business can make things right for them. For instance, at Optimized Marketing, 98% of the time our response is, “Oh wow. Yeah, it’s no fun to send out marketing dollars that don’t come back with friends”. This is exactly why we developed our SPACE program; so we can test and optimize our way to success for every customer.



“Another company already does that for me.”

“We already have a supplier”

“They have a feature you don’t have.”


For the novice, this can be tough to recover from. You got your pitch lined up and you’re all set, only to be told they’re using someone else.


But getting round this is easier than you think.


Just get your prospect talking! 


Ask them for the nuts and bolts: 


  • Do they understand what they’re getting from their current provider?
  • Are they generating the revenue they are looking for? 
  • Are those features working as they are expected to? 


Even if you don’t close a sale with this kind of prospect, you’ll be able to learn more about what’s on the market, which can be just as valuable. It’s also a great opportunity to ask: 


“I can see why you’re interested in that feature. If we had that available, obviously along with all the other stuff we already talked about that your agency doesn’t have, would that make you want to work with us?” 


Then, if you have one available, you can reference a case study of how you’ve been implementing that feature – or something similar – to solve your prospect’s problems.


We Don’t Want To Give _____ Up


A rejection we sometimes hear is “We don’t want to give up TV/Radio for all digital.


There’s an easy answer to that objection and it goes like this: “That’s great! We’ll find a way for you to keep it!”


But that sentence should be followed by: “Even though your lead-gen ROI is small”. 


I mean, do you watch TV? Do you know a lot of people who do? 


We live in an era that is moving ever more quickly towards streaming platforms like Netflix, Amazon, Disney+, Apple, and so many others. What will your prospect’s customers be watching from the sofa tonight?


If you can see your prospect coming around to the idea, it’s a great time to ask “How much of that budget are you willing to test on digital?”. This often results in some sort of compromise between online and offline ad spending and it’s then up to future-you to provide evidence of why they should be putting it all into digital!


If they really can’t give up a service that you don’t think is right for them, that’s ok. Let them keep it. But, as your relationship develops, work on showing them why they really should be thinking about using that ad-spend somewhere that brings greater results.


Turn Rejection Into Acceptance


Rejection is tough at the best of times, but learning to counter can be the difference between losing someone you could have helped today and building a long-term relationship tomorrow. 


We’ve looked at how to deal with rejections based on price, doubts, not-for-me and service-related objections, and even prospects who don’t want to give something up.


But those are just the appetizers!


In part 2 of this series, we’ll help you overcome objections related to putting a sale-off, loyalty to another company, the capacity of the prospect’s team, being compared to your competitors, and another set of objections we’ve helpfully labeled ‘Other’.




Rob Barratt is part of an elite team of Optimizers here at Optimized Marketing and specializes in Copywriting. When he’s not concocting new subject lines or killer content hooks, Rob’s favorite things to do are play soccer, travel to hot, sunny places, and drink stellar coffee.