You didnt make the ball team. You didnt get accepted to your favorite college. You didnt qualify for the home loan. These things do happen. Rejection is a fact of life. Successful people, however, know they need to embrace rejection instead of shy away from it.
The wealthiest and most successful people in society realize that rejection is a temporary setback, and they keep pushing forward. Other people allow rejection to overpower them and stop them in their tracks. They allow that negative feeling to take up permanent residence in their brains. But rejection doesnt deserve to have that much power over you. Rejection exists only in your mind. It gets awarded power only when you allow it to enter your psyche, control you and devastate your life.
Successful people face rejection over and over again. Henry Ford is a perfect example. By the turn of the 20th century, he had experienced two failing companies and lost the money of two different investment groups. But he didnt give up. He located a third group of investors who gave him $28,000 to start a motor company. The Model A was born and Ford went on to make millions of dollars. Ford Motor Company became one of the most successful car manufacturers the world has ever known. Think how different Fords life would have been if he gave up after failing with his first company.
Though rejection can feel devastating, someone saying no to you wont kill you. The fear of rejection, however, is even more dangerous than rejection itself. That fear can prevent you from taking the necessary risks that could lead you to true success. Its the number one reason people do not get more of what they want in life. They think they can escape the pain of failing if they dont even try. While that might be true, they also lose the opportunity to learn valuable lessons from their failures lessons that often can propel them toward success.
When you decide to take risks, you accept a rejection as a possibility. What you dont have to accept is becoming discouraged and considering yourself a failure because of a rejection. You just need to change the way you think about it. To do this:
- First, stop taking rejection personally. It has nothing to do with you.
- Second, understand the reasoning behind every no. In this way, youre redefining rejection.
- And last, instead of allowing rejection to grind your efforts to a halt, turn it around and use rejection as a catalyst to gain momentum toward your goals.
You need to recognize and detour past these three rejection potholes to achieve that waiting success. Its right around the corner for you! Refuse to let rejection take you down. Instead, recognize it as an opportunity to gain something a new client, a sale or a friend. When you follow these three steps every time you experience rejection, you will be well on your way to achieving true success.
Dont Take Rejection Personally
Stop taking no as a personal attack. Many people hear no and immediately take it to heart. They embrace it. They believe the person who said no has waged an all-out war on their character.
Did you know that 50 percent of salespeople allow rejection to stop them completely after the first no? Of the 50 percent who dont give up, half of them cease all sales efforts after the second no. The fear of being rejected prevents them from ever approaching that prospect again. If youre doing the math, you now know that 75 percent have given up after the second contact. They have handed over the opportunity for a sale to their competitor instead of considering how to approach this prospect again and again and turn the no into a yes.
Any time you go into a situation where rejection is a possibility, remember that if someone says no they are not rejecting you as a person. They are simply rejecting your idea or product. When you believe you are a worthwhile person with worthwhile ideas, you will not feel personally rejected. People can reject your idea, product or service for any number of reasons, but they cannot reject you permanently unless you choose to let them.
Step Two: Redefine Rejection
The best way to change your thinking about rejection is to redefine it. Remember, rejection exists only in your mind. Rejection doesnt mean no. In business, rejection is man-made; it is only temporary. It simply means maybe. Therefore, view rejection as a stimulus to continue toward your goal.
When a prospect says no, he is not locking a door; hes simply not opening it. The prospect is really saying, Tell me more. Show me. Give me more reasons to say yes. If you throw up your hands and walk away, youve told your prospect she is right; your product or service isnt worthy of her business.
The first no usually means that the prospect and salesperson need more information. For example:
- The prospect didnt have enough information to say yes.
- The sales professional didnt ask the right questions and doesnt know what the prospect needs.
- The sales professional didnt give the specific information needed to connect the value of the idea or product to the prospect.
- The real objections were never discovered and addressed positively.
When someone says no, you simply havent supplied him or her with enough information to say yes.
Step Three: Allow Every No to Encourage You
Once you have changed your definition of rejection, every no can propel you toward a yes with increasing speed. Rejection will fire an ever-increasing desire to provide your prospects with all the information they need to be sold on your idea or product. Every rejection will provide the necessary momentum for you to learn and perfect your selling technique. Regroup and ask yourself what your prospects biggest reason for rejecting your product or idea is, and plan to address those concerns the next time you speak.
Change Your Perspective
Your beliefs about rejection determine your degree of success. Dont let the fear of rejection kill your initiative. Rejection is not a personal attack. Instead of giving up, re-frame rejection in your mind as an opportunity to regroup and try again and again. When you do, the prize, a yes, is just around the corner.
About the Author
Jack Perry is a renowned leadership coach, speaker and author with more than 40 years of experience. Jack, Youre Fired, is his forthcoming book on effective sales, goals and motivation techniques. Perry climbed to a district sales management position at IBM Corp., then became CEO at a national financial services firm. Now he is a senior vice president for a division of John Hancock. Perry is an expert on sales, motivation, leadership and retirement planning. For more information on his training and speaking, visit his Web site at www.respectfactor.com or call +1 800 334 4437.