We all face it. It’s not fun, but as business owners, no matter how flippin’ awesome we are at what we do, we’re going to continue to face rejection sprinkled amongst our wins and success. Learning how to handle rejection productively (instead of letting it drain us) is a skill any entrepreneur must develop for business success.
In our last post we dove deep into understanding the psychology of rejection, how it impacts our approach to sales and how we can shift our perspective.
But today, we’re going to talk action steps.
We’re going to talk about what to do when we get rejected. Because, funny as it may sound, learning how to handle rejection is actually a key to learning how to master sales.
Think of it this way: How much time and energy would you gain if you knew how to steer clear of that winding, bottomless, emotional, rejection rabbit hole?? (Time and energy you could pour into the next sales opportunity—which could be a win you don’t even see coming.)
In this post, we’ll cover four simple strategies you can use to handle rejection differently and use it as a learning process to fuel your business success, rather than feeling emotionally hijacked.
Plus, these strategies cross function for dating, the workplace, family and social life. No matter the context, rejection is rejection, and we can either let it disempower or empower us.
Step 1) PAUSE.
That’s it. It’s simple.
Now, let’s take a moment to recognize that this is difficult.
We as humans carry a visceral need to respond. But pausing is not impossible. In fact, with a little practice, it even becomes habitual.
Next time you’re rejected, stop before you react. Rejection could happen in the form of:
A phone call
Before you fire back a text or speak the words, set the phone down or simply take a breath.
If the person rejecting your offer or idea is standing right in front of you, pause. (Yes, you have time, even if it seems scary). Take 3 seconds and breathe. Give that little, incredible organ inside your chest a breath of love. You’ll come back to your heart later (maybe tonight with a meditation, or a bubble bath and your fav book). For now, reassure your heart that she or he does not have to fight.
You’ve got this. It’s time for your rational thinking cap and your adult pants.
Center yourself in your body.
Now that you’ve paused before reacting, you can practice responding using steps 2 through 4.
Step 2) Ask Yourself: Were My Values Aligned?
As you were making your offer or presenting your idea, was your offer or idea in alignment with your personal values?
Did your offer or idea authentically reflect what you believe in? If your values were aligned, you can be assured there is no reason to go down that emotional rabbit hole of rejection, because you had your client’s or prospect’s best interests in mind and you were showing up as the truest version of you.
If you realize that for some reason your values were not aligned, that’s ok; still no need to go down the rabbit hole (seriously—it’s tempting—but turn the steering wheel!). And here’s why:
If your values weren’t aligned, you can get curious and use the experience as a learning situation by asking yourself questions like this:
What values were not aligned and why?
Were there fears that caused me to compromise my values?
How can I handle this value conflict differently next time?
Remember every experience can be a teaching tool for business success.
Step 3) Ask Yourself: Do I Know Everything There is to Know in the Situation?
Ok, so we can rarely know everything, but we can get close. I used to work in HR and I always used to say that there are three sides to a story:
One party’s perspective.
The other’s perspective.
And somewhere in the middle.
When we realize rejection could be the result of objections that weren’t addressed, misunderstandings, or other factors we don’t know, rejection becomes less personal and more about improving communication.
Next time you’re rejected, ask yourself:
Was I clear on all my prospect’s objections?
Did I address them all?
What did I still not know?
Once we’ve reflected on whether or not our values were aligned and we understand all we can in a sales conversation—and we are still rejected—it’s time to shift to solutions mode.
Step 4) Shifting to Solutions
One of the most common tendencies when we are rejected is to hit the replay button. You know it: the tape that starts playing in our mind, repeating the entire conversation as we agonize over and scrutinize each little detail. Our mental analytic has a hay day, and we’re left dwelling in the past when we could be putting our valuable energy into new opportunities instead.
So, resist the replay. You’ve already reviewed the most important aspects: your value alignment and handling objections (finding out everything you possibly can). Now it’s time to shift to a solutions-based perspective and ask:
Where do I go from here?
What is in my control, and what is out of my control?
Consider jotting down ideas for what you could do next, and what’s in and out of your control.
When we break it down like this and start thinking in terms of opportunity, we feel less affected by what someone said, and more empowered by our own ability to choose what we do next.
Next time you’re facing rejection in ANY situation, remember these 4 simple steps:
Ask yourself if your values were aligned.
Ask yourself if you knew as much as possible about the situation.
Shift to solutions mode.
Learning how to handle rejection is key for business success. And remember, you don’t have to do it alone!
It’s a process well worth the journey! Stay tuned for Part 4 next week
Learn more about how you can transform your confidence and leverage vulnerability the right way to increase sales.
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