One of the realities you will face every day as an entrepreneur is that not everyone will accept your idea, product or service all the time. I’m sorry but I just have to tell you in case you develop your business idea expecting to have a 100% conversion rate. Everyone will not be as enthusiastic about patronizing your business as you might think. In every marketing class, they tell you to expect 99 rejections (figuratively, of course) in a day but not to go home till you find that one ‘Yes’. It’s the truth! Question is, how does one person endure 99 rejections in a day and still find the strength to keep going? I give you 5 practical tips for dealing with rejection.
When I launched my first startup, CitiMart Magazine, I expected a conversion rate of 40%. That is, if I met 10 people in a day, I expected 4 of them to buy advertising space in my publication (my concept was awesome!). What I got in the end was less than 10%. I even offered to advertise for some people free of charge – FREE – and they still said no!
People are mostly skeptical about new things. That is why succeeding in business is like breaking through the proverbial ceiling. It takes a while – and hard work – for people to accept and trust your brand. If you don’t learn to deal with the initial rejections, your business suffers overall because instead of approaching your marketing with enthusiasm, you feel mostly lethargic about meeting people again. I’m positive you’ll find a lot of insight and motivation to excel after reading this article.
5 Practical Tips for Dealing With Rejection
1. Expect Rejections
The very first tip for dealing with rejection is to expect rejection. You hope for the best and expect the worst. It’s not being negative, it is reality.
When you hope for the best, you give it your best shot. You put all your energy and creativity into converting that prospect into a sale. You stay at a place for 8 hours waiting for that ‘Oga’ to come back from some meeting. You approach that Oga with a smile on your face and no trace of anger for making you wait 8 hours. You give the best presentation of your life.
When you expect the worst, you don’t feel so bad when that Oga says no. you feel bad, of course, but not so much that you don’t go ahead to meet the next person. Expect people to say no but approach them as if they are that one YES you have waited all day for.
2. Get useful feedback
An adage says, “the fact that nobody understands you does not make you an artist”. It’s not enough to bow your head and move on when people say no to you. You may believe your idea is a no-brainer but your target market might be expecting something different – and the customer is king. As much as possible find out, politely, the reasons they refused your product or service. Most people would give you one vague reason or the other like “I’m just not ready; I’ll call you soon”. But now and then, someone would care much about your success to sit you down and tell you areas you could improve your brand to gain better acceptance. Make use of this feedback.
Be careful, though. If you ask for people’s opinion, be ready to get it; the good, the bad and the ugly. You don’t do everything you hear; it’s a recipe for confusion and business failure. For example, when people tell you to sell your product/service cheap, it’s almost always for selfish reasons than your own success. But sometimes you look at those opinions and you know some of them make perfect sense. It could mean repackaging your service, adding more features, working on your pitch, etc. Make the changes you need to and then go back in.
3. Live for the thrill of a sale
Every marketer lives for the thrill of making a sale. The first time a got a sponsor to pay for advert space in my magazine, I felt like a billion dollars. It made all the other hundreds of rejections seem very insignificant. When you have made the necessary adjustments and you are certain you have the perfect pitch, you have to go back and sell your product/service to more people. It’s the only way to go.
4. Motivate yourself
Every morning during those periods, before I went out to meet with potential clients, I would take Over The Top by Zig Ziglar and read one chapter. It kept me motivated throughout the period till I launched my first edition. Find something that keeps you motivated and keep doing it. I have not heard of anyone who succeeded at anything without motivation.
5. Keep going – It’s fuel, not failure
You could turn rejection to failure or you could use it as fuel and propel yourself to greater heights. The greatest entrepreneurs in the world all had to deal with rejection at some point. But they all made the best use of them and prospered beyond measure. Do not stop when people turn you down. Go ahead and keep looking for that one person that says YES. It’s the greatest thrill on earth I tell you.
Dealing with rejection is something we all have to do at some point in our lives. I hope this helps you find the strength to keep going and to succeed even when it seems the world is out to frustrate your efforts. I’d be interested to know what your experience has been in dealing with rejection. Let me know in the comment box. Whatever you do, proper!