Let’s call it out.
Rejection: Not the sexiest topic.
Most people would much rather sit down to read something like, “Top 5 Things you Can Do To Double Your Sales Now” (and gobble it up even while the inner skeptic has a hay day).
But here’s the deal: That “Top 5…” article may have some legit, good tips for business success. But they will get us nowhere if our foundation, and our underlying approach to engaging in sales isn’t solid.
So, grab a cup of tea and settle in for an illuminating read. And, congratulate yourself for being open to diving deeper; to experiencing sustained business success.
A solid foundation and approach to sales comes from understanding what deeply motivates us. It comes from understanding our fears, desires, wants and needs.
“Ok, I thought you were a business coach… are we in psych class now?”
Hang in there with me—unfortunately, this is the critical part of “success” too many business experts miss.
Last I checked, the fear of rejection is a big red road block to business success we ALL run into.
It keeps us:
Hiding behind our screens instead of picking up the phone or walking out the door.
Justifying why we didn’t make that networking meeting.
Rationalizing why we’re still working a job we hate.
Complaining about not making any sales last week… again… even though we only talked to two people.
In the stress of sales (instead of the fun of sales).
Feeling like a victim.
I know. These are pokey topics. But you know why I get excited about them? Because they are KEY to business success.
When we dive into our fears… and keep walking through them, we step into superpowers we never knew we had… and that, my friend, is sexy.
So, in this post, we’ll take a little dive into:
The big “R” word: Rejection.
How to use the fear of rejection as an invaluable teacher for business success.
The Big “R” Word: Rejection
We talked in our last post about rejection, and how the fear of rejection can play out in our sales conversations and the way we price our services. As a re-cap, it’s important to understand that our prices are not necessarily a reflection of the actual value of our services, but of the amount of abundance we are open to receiving.
Let that sink it.
The fear of rejection gets especially loud, and sometimes feels paralyzing for business owners, because we so intimately intertwine our passion and values with the services we provide.
Understanding the fear of rejection—first as a natural reaction to vulnerability—and second as the result of our human desire for love and acceptance, helps us embrace it so we can better understand it.
Once we recognize our fear, we can start to shift our perspective and use that fear as a tool and teacher for business success.
Using the Fear of Rejection as an Invaluable Teacher
Perhaps the first and most important step in understanding the fear or rejection is to step back, and view ourselves and situations as observers. Doing so helps us to not take things quite so personally. Sure, this is tough when our businesses are born from our personal passions.
But we have to understand that our purpose and passion are drivers. They’re the fuel in our tank. How other people respond (just like how other people on the road drive), has nothing to do with our value or legitimacy. Instead, it has everything to do with their story in the same way that how we show up has to do with our own story.
Here’s an example:
Befriending Our Inner Monsters
While listening to one of Kyle Cease’s recent videos (look him up, he’s amazing), he made the point that if someone were to call you a “big purple monster,” you’d probably laugh in their face or give them a strange look. Because, you know it’s totally ridiculous and not true.
But, when someone says, “your prices are too high,” we tend to immediately experience all sorts of self-doubt and feelings of rejection. We even make ourselves out to be the victim of that person’s opinion!
So, why is it so easy to take a comment about our prices as such truth, instead of realizing it may be just as ridiculous as someone saying, “you’re a big purple monster?”
The fact is, we are confident we are not a purple monster (at least I hope so. ;-p ). But, prices are tied to our sense of security, our value, and our worth, so we tend to personalize people’s reactions to them. But when we realize that prices are a reflection of the abundance we are willing to receive, rather than our value, this changes things. We can then start to see how someone’s reaction is the result of their perception. And not our value.
This shift in perspective helps quite that monster inside us who fears rejection, so that our true self can take a genuine interest in our prospect, and start exploring why they might feel the price is too high. Instead of feeling hurt, rejected, or victimized, we can get curious, and use their feedback as a tool to explore things like:
Whether or not they understand the full value of what we are offering them (and steer the conversation accordingly).
Sales process step 2: Re-capping their needs and wants (we’ll talk more about this next month).
Clarifying our understanding what they actually need, and how our service may match that.
You see, when we apply these kinds of filters to our sales conversation, it becomes about a two-way exploration of mutual benefit, while still respecting our own prices and standing confidently in our worth, rather than defaulting to rejection, blame and victimization.
Here’s another example:
Letting Go of the Recipe for Burnout
A client recently shared with me how she always felt pushed to work “harder and faster” when she was young. She recently began to see how this was impacting her sales conversations, her lack of business success, and the types of clients she was attracting:
During a recent conversation she told me about, a prospect questioned, what he perceived as, her high prices. He said, “Well, I didn’t think it would take you that long,” proceeding to complain that her prices were too high. In his mind, he equated price with the time he thought it would take to complete the project.
Clearly, this prospect either:
Didn’t understand the value of her offering,
Didn’t value his business enough to invest in her service, or,
Had a completely different perception of money and value.
But instead of immediately realizing this, my friend felt angry and rejected that he had questioned her time. When she explored why his comment was so triggering, she realized it was because she didn’t feel entirely confident in her value.
But why didn’t she?
She knew she was offering an incredible value, but a story from her childhood was still behind the steering wheel of her reaction in sales conversations. This story told her (and she gave it power by believing it) that her value was measured by how quickly she got a job done.
So, she immediately internalized his comment as an echo of others’ words from her childhood working on the farm: “Hurry up, speed up! Move more quickly! Get more done in less time…” Even though she knew she was doing her current work as efficiently as possible.
But, here is how she stepped into her power:
As soon as she was able to realize that this story was running the show (and how it was her recipe for burnout), she began to let it go.
The immediate resentment she felt towards this prospect started to evaporate, and she felt a renewed sense of confidence, ready to approach the next sales conversation with more openness and indifference to the final outcome.
By getting curious about the stories that drive our interactions in sales conversations, we can start to see how they influence our responses and emotions—and why we may often repeat the same emotional responses to stressful situations (such as losing a sale and feeling rejected).
This understanding lets us use our emotions as powerful teachers and drivers of our business success rather than unconscious road blocks.
And when this level of awareness is driving our actions and business success, whether it’s following the latest “5 steps to success” or our own measurable goals, we don’t need to worry so much about choosing the perfect “formula” for sales and business success, because we know that we’ve set ourselves up to make a variety of approaches work well.
We can use our fear of rejection as an invaluable teacher for business success when we get curious about the stories around it, and where they come from. Understanding the stories we attach to sales conversations minimizes the stress of sales. It helps us detach from the outcome, take things less personally, and show up more authentically (all of which help our prospects feel more comfortable with us).
Seeing the changes that takes place in entrepreneurs’ lives (not to mention positive changes in their sales numbers) when they begin to transform the fear of rejection, is incredible.
The process of personal growth and sustaining business success becomes even more powerful when business owners have the opportunity to be part of a supportive community where they can authentically grow their awareness.
It’s a process well worth the journey! Stay tuned for Part 3 next week
Learn more about how you can transform your confidence and leverage vulnerability the right way to increase sales.
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