We generally fear rejection and, when it happens, it can be upsetting or even depressing.
No one wants to be turned down by a potential client or someone else to whom we have reached out. Perhaps you asked for their business, or you hoped to collaborate with them on a project or you made some other type of proposal. When you hear “no” (or worse, nothing) it can be dispiriting.
So is there a bright side to rejection? There can be, if you take the right approach. Ask yourself these questions.
Was this the right offer? Be a little brave and ask why they said no. They may not be willing to say, or may give you an answer that is not 100% honest, but you might be surprised what you learn. Sometimes the no comes because they don’t want or need what you offer right now, it could be price or terms, or it could be that the offer wasn’t clear.
The feedback can help you improve (or maybe even rescue the current situation). Do not completely remake your offer to suit them, but you can make some tweaks (or perhaps just explain it better) and that may be enough. Use what you learn when approaching others in the future.
Was this the right time? The need may not exist right now, or they might be focused on other issues.
If the door is left open, you can approach them again when circumstances change.
Was this the right person? Perhaps the person you approached was not a good fit with you. Their personalities or priorities may clash with yours, or maybe the person is just a jerk. In any event, you are probably better off not working with them.
Next time, look for the right people to do business with. Put a questionnaire on your site to help potential clients and partners self-screen. Make sure your image is in line with what your ideal clients expect.
Don’t take rejection personally. It often isn’t personal at all. Even when it is, it does not mean that there is something wrong with you. It means that you or your offer are not a good fit with the person you approached. Or it may mean that there is something wrong with them. ;o)
Good salespeople know that rejection is part of the job. The more people you approach, the more you will hear “no.” But approaching more people also means that you will hear “yes” more often.
Don’t fear rejection. Accept it, learn from it, and move on to the next “yes.”