How do you like to deal with rejection in your business? Do people say or do things out there that “hurt” your feelings? How do you react when people get off your list, criticize your marketing style, decline your invitations, etc? Do you feel devastated and then want to hide or run for the hills saying to yourself, “I am not meant to be in business, anyway!?”
Our fear of rejection is so powerful, it stops most of us in our tracks — whether we realize it or not. It prevents us from moving forward in our professional and personal lives. As a result, we’re afraid to set goals. We’re unwilling to take risks.
If you’re in the entrepreneurship game you better get used to hearing the word “no.” If starting a business was easy, everyone would want in. (Too many already do!) Rejection helps knock out the weak. Rejections should force you to really listen to your potential customers and find out what you need to do to change “no, thanks” to “where do I sign?”
Well, how would you like for the experience of rejection in your business to be different? Here are the 3, simple steps I keep reminding myself to take over and over again whenever situations such as this arise:
1. Educate your customers
Let your customers know how you work, your style so that they can respond to you accordingly. For instance, people who are not familiar with online marketing will often say, “Your web page is just too long,” or “You send too many emails!” In this journey, you’ll find out that a lot of people have a lot of opinions as to how you should run your business. For what purpose? Because it distracts them from focusing on what THEY need to do for their marketing. Besides, they just don’t know!
First of all, long web pages give every different kind of buyer a chance to get what he wants. It provides information to the quick decision-making types as well as to the ones who need to know every single detail of the book to feel good when investing. The same thing with email marketing; studies have shown that people need to be reminded. More signups or sales come through emails sent closest to the deadlines, as we know there are plenty of people who like to wait until the last minute to take action.
2. Always Plan Ahead
Apart from educating your followers or customers, you should always have a Plan B and a Plan C. If you do, you’ll feel less desperate, and as a result, less affected by rejection. If you have other options, you’ll be able to think more critically about why your idea failed this time. After all, as the saying goes, it’s not wise to put all your eggs in one basket. Accept that no project or idea is perfect so you can start thinking, where were the flaws? Where were its weaknesses? You need to embrace these realities — not ignore them. Analyzing your idea from different perspectives will help you understand rejection and how to combat it.
3. Look for the gift – the truth
There are gifts in every situation, circumstance or interaction with people; especially the ones you’re a bit more sensitive about – OK, the ones that push your buttons! Do yourself a favour and move into a place of being open to learning. In this case, ask yourself, “What is the gift – truth – I am here to receive from this critical person?” and “What is the gift I am here to give to this person?” With love and compassion, look for the learning and move on. Nothing others do is about you anyway.
4. Find out the reason for the rejection
If your idea is turned down, while you try to identify the truth in the rejection, ask why. This advice is so simple that it’s surprising how many people don’t follow it. Politely ask whoever rejected you if they have a few minutes to explain to you why your idea didn’t work out. Don’t get emotional or continue to sell them on your idea. If they are willing to explain to you why it wasn’t a good a fit for them, listen very, very closely. This insight is priceless. You may be able to address their objections later; now is not the time to respond to them. Yes, it’s hard not to argue, but just listen. This is crucial information you don’t want to miss a minute of. You’ll be surprised at what you learn.
5. Turn that knowledge you get from the inquiry into power
The more information you have about why your idea was rejected, the more you will be able to modify it accordingly. Often, though, it seems as though rejection results from lack of understanding. If your idea isn’t a good fit for a company, they are going to reject it — and that doesn’t have any bearing on how good it is. What you learn may help you pitch your product differently to that company in the future, or it may help you realize you should be approaching an entirely different company. Ensure you turn knowledge acquired into power and use that power to act in the right direction.
Now it’s your turn: What other ways do you think one can deal with the fear of rejection in business?