Everyone gets rejected. Everyone has been rejected. If you haven’t been rejected just yet (wait for it) you are one lucky S.O.B. and the best way to win friends and influence others is to keep that little annoying tidbit to yourself. For the rest of you out there, I know you all know rejection all too well. Whether we experienced it in grade school as children getting picked last for dodge ball teams, getting that extremely thin letter from the university we were so sure we were going to get in, or having your best friend say they rather just stay friends. We’ve all been rejected at some point in our lives. And getting rejected while building and soliciting business doesn’t get any easier.
Or maybe it can.
Rejection, if we know how to shift our attitudes accordingly, can change how we do business. We’ll begin to look at rejection as an obstacle meant to be overcome (which it is) rather than a brick wall that cannot be penetrated. With shaping how we think about rejection and how we plan to treat rejection as it comes at us, we first must be honest with ourselves. We must acknowledge what our weaknesses are and where they lie. And we all have weakness. (Listen, I don’t care how perfect you think you are, you have a least one weakness — and probably very few friends).
By acknowledging your weaknesses, start by writing a rejection letter to yourself. Write it as if you are the client who just received a proposal from your company or a sales pitch from yourself (the business you, not the client you) and you’ve decided that you’re not the best fit for your current needs. And because the client you knows all about the business you, be brutally honest. Tell the business you why you’re not going to go with your company. Maybe the business you doesn’t have enough experience in the industry or field. Maybe the business you doesn’t sound confident enough over the phone or in person. Maybe the business you doesn’t have a solid track record. Maybe the business you doesn’t have the resources to get the job done — whatever it is, let the client you just rip the business you a new one. Some clients don’t hold back and you need to be brace yourself for their honesty. You need to be able to tell yourself what clients maybe thinking if they decide “no”.
A brutally honest rejection letter prepares you for a counter argument; save a sale or hold onto a client. The object of a rejection letter is to poke holes at your business. And your job is to be able to spin it so that they client or customer no longer sees those holes as problems. You want to acknowledge the holes they see but assure them you have plugs for those holes. Think of the plugs as activities or practices you’ve incorporated into your business to provide them with peace of mind.
Because that’s what clients and customers really want. They want to know if they give you their money, that they are going to get their expected value for it. And by ensuring they get what they paid for and it’s actually what they want, they’re going to reject you. Clients are going to try to find something wrong until you show them all that is right. But you gotta beat them to the punch. Know client’s possible rejections first by creating your own rejections.