Rejections don’t always come easy. No matter how successful you claim to be, in a world where business uncertainty is exceeding bounds, to be turned down is as common as running out of your favorite mozzarella pizza. Of course it can be totally disheartening – who wouldn’t feel belittled after a big NO-NO? Well, the surprising fact is that the most iconic entrepreneurs didn’t really get the most gigantic YES’s of their lives. They just knew how to turn these rejections into a beautiful chain of – well yes – their very own slices of mozzarella pizza rolled into a resounding business opportunity.
Can you just imagine how the hailed Walt Disney turned a depressing rejection into something magical? Cinderella, Maleficent, Frozen are just a few of the groundbreaking movies produced by Walt Disney but did you know that we wouldn’t have had enthralled ourselves with these films if it weren’t for that newspaper editor who fired him because he had no creativity? Yep, instead of wallowing over those derogatory remarks, he used that failure as a stepping stone to cultivate his inner talents and later create his own theme park and big-time movie production.
Steve Jobs, for instance, was fired by Apple – the very own company he nurtured to become what it is today. Everybody loves iPhone but not everyone can afford it. Businessmen from all walks of life reference Apple as a brand that has ultimately created a name for itself; thanks to Steve Jobs. Yet, it turned out that him getting fired was one of the best things that happened to him because it gave him room to innovate himself and become more creative.
Rejection can come in many forms. It could be a sales pitch declined by your prospect before you could even finish your spiel. It could be a partnership cancelled to the last minute, or a brutal NO to an offer you’ve burnt midnight candles on. Whatever it is, the pang is the same – they hurt you and your business to a certain degree. Have I not done enough? Is there something I should have done? or shouldn’t have? These questions will continuously haunt you like a broken record but it doesn’t make the situation any less of a disaster – unless you actually do something about it. Here are some ways to turn these rejections into a YES with flying colors.
Sometimes, a “no” could just be the shell. What comes inside is a “Maybe” or an “I’m not sure.” Know the signs. If you are trying to close a business deal, chances are, the other end might be buying more time and isn’t really ready for you.
Don’t just let it pass but be careful not to get past the annoying mark. Clients may have a lot of things going on in their heads and you’re probably not their priority at the moment. But that doesn’t mean you’re rejected. Wait but don’t fail to nurture these clients. You would want to be right at their doorstep when they’re ready. Remember that each NO sends you a step closer to a YES.
Now, when you’re clear that the NO is indeed a NO, try assessing what went wrong. Have you been too pushy? aggressive? slack? Is your presentation too boring? too mediocre? or too detailed? Is your offering too expensive? too unrealistic? Or isn’t it compelling enough? These are the right questions you need to ask yourself. Evaluate your approach and plan the next steps to modify it.
There is no better way to know which part you failed than asking the prospect himself. Learn from the people who turned you down and encourage them to tell you why they gave it a NO in the first place. If you are trying to win a job, ask the interviewer why he failed you. Their answers might not be what you expect. Take their feedback positively and work on it. Constructive criticisms help you to assess your weaknesses, which you can then turn into strengths.
Deal with the objections. Use the assessment you have conducted to make your pitch or yourself better for that matter. Improve. Innovate. Work until you get the right formula. Adjust. You can’t just perform the same approach and expect great results all the same. Fine-tune your strategy, test it, and if you get a NO again, repeat the process. Business is a lifelong learning. There is no end of the trail, so always be prepared to upgrade yourself.
The most saddening type of rejection is the kind that takes you down the bottom, and crushes your hope in its entirety. When that happens, it’s the end of the game. The key is to avoid these rejections to crush you and the only way to do that is to shield yourself from negative emotions. Put a barricade between business and your personal well-being. It’s normal to feel unhappy when rejected, but letting that control your decisions in the long run will not only be detrimental for your business, but to your surroundings as well. Remember that business is not just about money-making or success, or happiness. It’s about growth, passion, and self-worth. When you allow depression and anxiety to conquer you because of failure, there is no reason for you to continue building your business in the first place.
It’s not about failure or rejection. It’s about how you play the game and how you carry yourself when facing such adversities. It’s the fire and enthusiasm crawling from your stomach pit even in the face of rejection that will take you further in life. Rejections – they are like mushrooms that never run out. So be used to it. In business, or in whichever aspect of your life, there will always be a NO. But if you’re smart and strong enough to turn these disappointments into success stories, you will always be a winner. Are you ready to become the next Steve Jobs or Walt Disney?