Nobody likes rejection, right? Wrong!
Rejection is my best friend, because it means I have a lead. Learn to see a ‘no’ as a ‘not yet’. It’s a challenge to get this potential customer over the line. It’s not about giving them a hard sell or being a nuisance, it’s about staying in touch and building a relation- ship and finding ways you can get them to cross your bridge.
A client I have worked with was trying to develop relationships with A-grade clients, but he was constantly rejected because of the size of his business, what was thought to be a lack of processes, and the type of clients he had worked with in the past.
However, through very deliberate coaching he stayed true to his goals and he kept in touch with these potential clients. Eventually an opportunity came up when a previous supplier let the organisation down. My client was called up to have a go – and he nailed it! That contract value is now approaching one million dollars.
He could have thrown in the towel when he couldn’t initially break through. He could have had a coach who said, ‘Stuff it, you’re not going to get this type of work.’
But instead, I said to him, ‘Just keep on knocking. Rejection is your best friend. You’ll learn from this. What is the feedback you received? What changes are you going to make? What can you do to demonstrate the business in a different light? How can you give them the confidence that your business is more than capable of delivering the goods?’
Rejection is not a personal thing – it’s a learning opportunity.
If you go “above the line” and take ownership of the learning opportunity, you come back stronger and better and fitter than ever.
This can be a delicate balancing act though so be careful. There are three traps to avoid:
1. Don’t annoy the potential client.
If they’ve made it extremely clear that you’re not the right person to solve their frustration, that’s fine. Don’t push too hard. Let it go and move onto the next client. You won’t win any friends by harassing people.
2. Don’t chase clients who aren’t right for you.
It’s also important to recognise that they might have said no to you for a very good reason. You know who your target market is, right? Maybe this person is not in your target market. If that’s the case, perhaps you’re better off without them anyway. You build your business for the long term by attracting the right customers, not just any customers.
3. Don’t take it personally.
It’s all about business. You’re not in this to be liked or popular, you’re in it to make a profit, and you only do that by working with the right people and clients.
Stefan Kazakis on 5 May 2018
Responding to change is a critical part of the culture and operations of the business. You, your team and your business must be agile and flexible. ...Read more