HOW TO OVERCOME REJECTION POWERFULLY:
This week, I spoke to a few clients about dealing with anger or frustration they feel when confronted by a situation that affects your business, your integrity or a client interaction.
For example, the delay on the subway ride while on route to an event, had me show up 25 minutes late.
Or the traffic congestion along the route to see a client has you frustrated and wanting to have a temper tantrum for one on the highway in to see that top new prospect!
Or the pain and rejection of a client saying no…and choosing your competitor, that competitor that you swear is from Mars and has two evil heads!
The key to dealing with anger, frustration, selling challenges or rejection is to be okay with your natural inclination to vent and release that anger and then the next step is to accept it and trust it is all in divine order. Meaning, you have to trust that God or the universe has your back!
Don’t make frustration, anger, rejection or negative stuff that happens in your work or business life, personal either, because it’s not about you.
A few years ago I remember pitching Canada’s National Radio (CBC-Radio—non-profit, public) network a concept for a small business radio show.
I got turned down.
I reflected on some of the issues I faced and you might face after being rejected by a prospect or client. It’s always recommended that you keep the right perspective and not let that rejection and hurt get the better of you. Here are some ways to overcome rejection in a much more proactive manner.
Well, I just got rejected. I pitched the CBC a radio show idea and it got turned down. There used to be a time when that would really have an adverse effect on me, but not now.
Now, I tend to look at ways to build that relationship further…remembering that someone wants to help you especially after they just told you no. So I probed and asked about future opportunities and where I could have improved on my pitch.
The upshot of it all was that I could still be in the game at CBC radio and get in another way. The suggestion was to pitch being a contributor to other shows, like the Current and or Sunday Edition.
The bottom line is this: rejection doesn’t mean it’s the end…it means it is not in the cards just now.
It is an opportunity to rework things a bit, and give your clients or prospects what they want. So, when you’re pitching business, keep pitching, stay in the game, nurture relationships, ask questions and plan for the future.
Let’s delve into handling rejection a little bit more.
If you pitch a business proposal or make a cold call and you get rejected, the best bet is to check your attitude. It’s never personal…it’s just business.
It wasn’t meant to be and who knows maybe the next best thing is right around the corner. Now that being said, none of us ever like to be rejected. None of us like it when we are late, or we face adversity, rejection, failure or an unexpected bill that we have to pay immediately or our key supplier will cut us off like forever!
This kind of stuff hurts. Sometimes the thing we seek in our business or work is something that is vitally important to us. Maybe it is that new client, or the big promotion…sometimes, our future depends on it.
Get in touch with the anger
When you do pitch or present a business idea/solution or proposal and you get turned down listen to the voice inside you. What’s it saying? Is it hurt? Is it angry? Is it upset? If it is, then get that emotion out of you. Yell, scream, journal, whatever you do, just get your frustrations out…and really let it out, don’t hold back.
I used to scream in my car alone and after about 10 minutes of that I would just laugh at myself for being totally silly. It hurts to be rejected, especially if you needed that sale or client and you’re wondering if your business is going to work. Was this the right idea? Sometimes you have to just let it out; let out that anger, fear and frustration. You have to let them go because after that moment of outrage and hurt about being rejected and about 10 minutes of pure screaming, you will experience calm about the situation. That’s been my experience anyway—10 minutes of hurt, anger and screaming and then…peace.
So once you let it out…once you dump the anger…begin to shift your thoughts and think of what’s next. What can you do to be better next time? This is where it’s wise to ask the person that said no to your brilliant idea/proposal/concept or pitch about how you can improve in the future.
Ask good questions
So be sure to ask the person that said “no” to you, some questions to see if there is another possibility to continue some sort of relationship. I liken it to dating. You might not be a be a good fit for that person you go on a date with but having them in your life as a friend may just be a really wonderful outcome!
So ask the person that said no about staying in the loop somehow. If you do get in the door, even in a small way, you never know when a brilliant opportunity might come up in the future. The key is to be there at the right time…and as Woody Allen once said, “80% of success is just showing up.”
When you begin to explore why your idea got rejected, you get a better sense of what the customer wants. So this pitch/proposal is a good first effort. The key now is to do a check in to see what the customer’s needs are and based on that information you can tailor your proposals accordingly.
Keep the relationship alive
Ask also to maintain some kind of ongoing relationship with the person, keeping it light, professional and engaging. You don’t want to bombard the individual; you just want to showcase your talents and ideas in a light informative way.
Know it’s a numbers game
The other key thing about being rejected is that you have to know if you’ve given it your “best shot”. That’s all you can do. I remember pitching to Adams Brands about handling all of their promotional products needs. It was about $250,000 worth of business. We would have printed anything from t-shirts to pens with their logos on it. We did our best pitch and presentation and, I came in second. Wah, Wah, Wah…
They loved what we did but gave the business to someone who was offering a rebate discount. I didn’t even think to offer that, or to ask about it, the break in accumulated pricing was the key, so we lost the deal.
If you give it your best shot, like we did for the Adams Brands deal, you are going to win some, you lose some. It just happens…the difference is usually the little things.
With the CBC radio proposal I was up against 250 application/pitches a year, two of which get to air. It’s hard to be upset when you’re turned down with those kinds of odds. I have a better chance playing Black Jack, in Vegas!
To be honest, I am glad I pitched…I think I would have been more upset if I didn’t have the nerve to pitch an idea.
I got to the plate and took a swing…okay, sure I didn’t have a game winning hit, but I took a hack at the ball!
So, never let fear be against you. Keep pitching, keep out there and keep going. If you do get rejected, seek to build and nurture your business relationships. Sooner or later good things will come from it…
Learn from it
One way to overcome rejection is to adopt a learning mindset. If you’re open to learning and doing even better next time then you have a learning mindset. You can stand in judgment about the rejection, the company that rejected you or the person that said no, or you can seek to understand where that no came from and then revise and rework your pitches in the future.
If you learn from rejection, if you adapt to what the market wants and you’re open to being flexible then rejection won’t be so bad.
I hope this post helps you. I hope you have a ton of rejections because that means you’re playing full out. It means you’re going to get business coming your way because the more you ask, the more you pitch, the more you know your customers, the more you connect with people, the better your odds of success.
Go make it happen!