The Mechanics of Rejection

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Being told “No” is something every business person has to deal with when interacting with prospects.

Handling rejection

A lot of advice on handling rejection approaches the issue from a social and personal perspective and is concerned with the psychological implications.   And some of these approaches are generally relevant, but as anyone running a small business knows, rejection is a part of everyday business life. We are constantly reaching out to leads, trying to turn those leads into prospects, prospects into clients and clients into customers. We cast our nets ever wider into society and the most common response we get is some form of the word, “no”. For someone coming to the world of the entrepreneur from regular paid employment, this can be quite unnerving. 

Don’t let it stop you

Don’t take no for an answer. What this means is that not every rejection has to be final, and even if it ends up being final in that specific instance, it may lead to future opportunities. So don’t be upset that you were turned down – your message may have been incomplete. Remember, “no” is not the worst thing you can hear, it is always better than no response.

Understand their Why

Key to getting your potential client on board is to understand their need and then to manage their perception of your solution. Sometimes that match does not occur in the first instance, even though you may have done a fair job of overcoming objections. It may be that during the course of further interaction, you come to better understand their need and more accurately articulate a solution. Which is why the rejection should not be treated as the final full stop.

Getting on the same page

It is important for us to note that the rejection of our proposal is not a rejection of our personality or even of our brand. It simply represents a disconnect between the problem (as perceived by us) and the solution (as perceived by them). Reconciliation between these two positions may lie in the correction of perceptions or in the nature of the solution itself.

Maintaining bridges

People sometimes are hesitant to continue the conversation with you after they have said no to your proposal. This is particularly relevant if, in the light of new experience they have second thoughts about your proposal. It is difficult for them to walk back an earlier decision and we need to facilitate that process when the situation arises.  We must assure them that there are no hard feelings and that you are still available to them should they change their minds. So instead of expressing disappointment at not getting the business, respond in an open and friendly manner. You are also more likely to be remembered for future business.

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