Did that just fill you with fear? Self-loathing? And the question, “What did *I* do wrong?”
Well, you’re not alone. I know that doesn’t make it better because you’re still the one who has to bear the brunt of hearing that what you want has been denied. Be it a job, project or new client.
Countless articles talk about embracing failure and still more post about becoming resilient. In today’s social media, gotta-have-a-win-so-I-can-post-it-on-Instagram world, we’re not exactly taught coping skills. We are taught that winning is everything, you hear about the times Thomas Edison failed only after you learn about the one time he was exceptionally successful.
So where does this leave those of us who may or may invent the next iPhone or discover cold fusion, especially when the answer to our greatest desires (or landing a new account) may still be “no?”
See it from the nay-sayer’s perspective. How many decisions has the “decision-maker” had to make since their alarm went off that morning? They may not know if they want your product or service at this time because they’ve had to decide on the department’s budget by 9am, when to schedule employee review meetings that week or even what their child would need for lunch that day. It’s not personal to you. It may be hard not to think of it as personal but having empathy may be a way to ease hearing “no.” So, consider where the “no” is coming from and think about your options. Would another day/time be better? Could you help with anything more immediate?
Change your thinking. In sales, either you have been rejected or you will be rejected. Address this by going into a sales call with a different mindset: “If I’m rejected, I will…use this to improve my product…or have a better response next time…or not take it so seriously.”
Ask better questions. Find out what the client wants by asking good questions. It sounds easy but it may be the hardest part of your business – knowing your client. Doing homework is crucial, it not only helps you feel more confident about your pitch and your offerings, but it makes the client feel – what they are – important. You were prepared and didn’t waste their time. If they know understand them, this makes it more likely that they will turn a “no” into a “yes.” Querying possible clients with follow up questions to get to their deep pain points may be your way to closing a sale.
Keep going and don’t look back. Think of “NO” as Next Opportunity and move on to the next one. Maybe this is not your client. Maybe you need to re-evaluate where you’re getting leads and where those leads are leading. It’s not a failure to hear “no” from a perspective client if you will both lose time and energy pursuing something that’s not mutually beneficial.
Understand that NO isn’t fatal. In the end, you will survive hearing that what you have or want or need is denied. Hearing “no” will reinforce your resilience. Think of it as weight lifting. Think of how good you’ll feel when you’ve strengthened that particular muscle and you have the ability to bounce back when you hear “next opportunity” next time.