As an entrepreneur you are likely to be rejected. The important thing is to transform those experiences into opportunities.
The opinions expressed by employees are personal.
“Dear Mr. Strauss. Thank you for your presentation, but unfortunately… ”
When you are an entrepreneur, you hear the word 'no' too often. The not so fictitious rejection letter set forth above is just a copy of hundreds of similar responses that I have received in my life, when trying to become a published writer. It took me about a decade to hear 'no' before receiving the first email with a 'yes'.
And that raises a question: How to deal with the 'no'? Or perhaps, even more importantly: How can you turn a 'no' into a 'yes'?
In fact there are many ways to turn a no into a yes, but first I would like to share a strategy that I don't want you to use: imitation. There is a school of thought that maintains that if you constantly imitate someone's speech and body language, you subliminally create an understanding with them. Somehow, they don't notice that you're imitating them, so they don't feel insulted or manipulated; instead, they soon realize that they have something in common and that they need to do business with you.
As you can imagine, I am not a fan of that strategy. First, because I've never seen it really work; and second, because it is condescending and superficial.
Better, I share five techniques that will really help you transform a 'no' into a 'yes':
1. Get a hint
'No' does not always mean 'no'. Many times it's just an easier answer to “I'm not sure” or “I don't know” or “I'm not ready at this time to give you an answer.” So the first step is to be able to determine if a is not simply a way to get more time. The business owners you work with will usually tell you no because it is easier and saves time.
I remember once I was talking to a big chain representative about putting my USA Today column on his website; although he seemed interested, he rejected me in the end. But because I knew they were interested, I pressed a little (something I don't usually do) to know if there was anything they needed and that I could offer. After five minutes of having started that talk, the man finally decided that they wanted my column. They were my clients for five years.
Lesson: 'No' does not always mean 'no'.
2. It's not you, it's me
The phrase to end a relationship of George Constance, from the television series Seinfield, is also applicable to business. If you hear 'no' too often it is probably a sign that you are doing something wrong. The challenge is to discover what it is.
There could be many things like:
- Your pitch is boring, too long or too specific
- Your product is very expensive, or very mediocre
- Maybe your offer doesn't have an attractive call to action
The best way to find out is to share it with a colleague you trust. Another option is to ask directly who rejected you why he said no. Get constructive criticism; The important thing is to get feedback, learn from it, change things and go back to the adventure.
3. Deal with objections
The late sales guru and motivational speaker once said about sales: “Each sale has five basic obstacles: no need, no money, no hurry, no desire, no trust.”
There are too many no's, too many objections. But by understanding that one could not really mean that a prospect is concerned about some of the objections Ziglar proposes, you will be better armed with the ability to handle those doubts. If you learn how to deal effectively with fears and objections, whatever they may be, then a 'no' is not necessarily the final answer.
4. Improve it
I recently saw the author of Jack Canfield speak. Canfield shared a principle that he uses to turn a no or a maybe a yes. He calls him “10”. After giving a speech or a proposal, he asks the prospects: Does my proposal get a 10? If not, what is missing for you to consider a 10?
5. Don't take it too seriously
Having the right attitude towards one cannot really open the way to getting many yes. After all, what is a no except a prelude to the next yes? As long as you keep throwing things towards the wall, eventually something will stick.
Always remember that Babe Ruth was not only the home run king, but also a leader in the strikeouts. There is a good lesson for everyone.