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Keeping Rejection in Its Place

Ouch – we all hate it when we’re rejected. Fear of rejection stops salespeople from asking for the sale. It stops us from reaching out to new friends and associates. It stops families from coming together. It even stops us from pursuing our dreams.

Rejection is a given – no matter how fabulous you are, you will at some point be rejected. What’s not a given (and where your power lies) is how you react to rejection. Here are some tips to keep rejection in its place:

1.) Realize it’s not about you. Let’s face it, we all think we’re the center of the universe. If someone turns us down for lunch, it must be because they don’t want to be with us. We will disregard the other 43 possible explanations (they already had plans, a last minute meeting was called, they are broke and can’t afford lunch, etc. etc. etc.). We are hardest on ourselves. Try again – maybe the timing simply wasn’t right. Don’t give up!

2.) Maybe your “prospect” doesn’t have enough information. They don’t know all your charms yet (because if they knew you, they’d love you!) or they don’t have enough information about your company. Or your approach was wrong for them. Don’t give up – on average it takes seven contacts to make a sale – I think this is true for building a relationship of any sort. It takes multiple contacts.

3.) If you have tried and tried again, maybe your rejecter was actually doing you a favor. Some clients are more trouble than they’re worth. Some relationships bring more pain than joy. If someone doesn’t value you after repeated exposures – move on to the next person. There are LOTS of prospects out there.

4.) Are you rejecting yourself? If you go into a sales call thinking “I know they won’t be interested” or if you approach a potential date thinking “There’s no way she’ll go out with me,” you’ve already rejected yourself and sealed your fate. Do you think your product is terrific or that anyone would be lucky to get to have lunch with you? If not, get to work! You have to feel great about you before anyone else will!

5.) You can’t please all of the people all of the time. You can never be all things to all people. The trick in this life is to be yourself (not an easy task, most of us are trying to be what we think other people want). When you are completely yourself, you’ll attract people who like you for you and you’ll be much, much happier. Once you really know who you are (or what your product is) you’ll understand who would be best suited for you. You can reduce rejection by dealing with people who are most likely to value what you have to offer. (Why waste your time trying to sell ice to Eskimos? Pick a better market!) I’ll use myself as an example. I’m a high-energy, out-of-the-box, extrovert. I’m blunt (my friends say brutally honest) and I’m easily excited. This is WAY too much for some people. But if I try to be more demure, more calm and passive, I’ll lose what makes me unique and what draws the right clients and friends to me.

If you can master being truly who you are, rejection is always a favor. It saves you from more pain down the road and frees you up to pursue better prospects. Just don’t give up too soon and realize how incredible you are!

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