How to Deal With No
No one likes rejection. And yet it happens. Here's how to make the most of it.
> Accept It
Recognize that it is impossible for everyone to say "yes" to everything. Thus,
rejection is an expected byproduct of making an offer or asking for something.
Some people make rejection part of their sales strategy. That is, they deliberately
send out a flood of requests, knowing that most of them will be rejected. Thus, if
you want to increase your rate of acceptances you need to collect more rejections.
> Be Gracious
Always thank the other person for a rejection. Congratulate them. And be polite.
This makes it easier for them to explain why they rejected your offer and it leaves
them feeling that you are a good person.
On the other hand, using insults, guilt, anger, or other high pressure techniques will
upset the person. That solidifies the rejection and ruins any further dialogue.
Always respect the other person's decision.
> Explore Why
When you receive a rejection, ask the other person to explain what led to the
decision. In sales, this is often when the selling really starts. You may be able to
resolve the other person's objections and convert a "no" into a "yes."
You may also learn that the other person misunderstood your request. Or you may
learn about other needs that you may be able to meet.
You can also use this as an opportunity to gain ideas on how you can improve.
Of course, be gracious. Be polite.
> Stop When It's Over
If the other person refuses to explain or if you are unable to overcome the other
person's objections, then the deal is over. Stop trying when it is clear that the
conversation is over. Nobody likes to be badgered or hounded after they have made
> On a Personal Note
As an entrepreneur I conduct most of my business by phone. I schedule
appointments, propose programs, and sell services - all by phone. The most
aggravating part of my business occurs when someone asks for something and then
ignores me. This type of rejection hurts my feelings and wastes my time. I welcome
hearing "no." In fact, I strive to be the easiest person to turn down that you will ever
meet. I do this because I want to spend time with the people who appreciate my
Notice that accepting rejection involves treating the other person with respect and
dignity. Be gracious and then move on. Leave them wondering if they made a
mistake, which could leave the way open for other possibilities.
IAF Certified Professional Facilitator and author Steve Kaye works with leaders who
want to be more effective. His innovative workshops have informed and inspired
people nationwide. His facilitation produces results that people will support. Call
714-528-1300 or visit his web site for over 100 pages of valuable ideas. Sign up for
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