Dealing with rejection

Nobody likes being rejected.

Whether it’s being turned down for a date, getting overlooked for promotion or failing a job interview, rejection hurts.

But when it comes to business, rejection is inevitable.

Unless you successfully win every project you ever quote for, you will occasionally face the disappointment of being turned down.

(And if you are winning every project, then chances are you’re pricing too low).

Most businesses have a conversion rate somewhere between 10% and 90%.

If you’re at the higher end, then don’t dwell on the rejections.

If you’re at the lower end, then there’s probably some things you need to address, (I can help you with that if you get in touch).

But for now, let’s concentrate on how to deal with rejection effectively.

It’s not personal

People aren’t rejecting you; they are rejecting your approach.

Perhaps you haven’t made the benefits of working with you clear enough.

Maybe you didn’t show how you add value.

Or perhaps somebody else was just a better fit.

Don’t take it personally.

Get feedback

If your proposals are getting turned down regularly, don’t be afraid to ask for feedback.

Not everyone will respond, but if you ask politely, some clients will be honest.

There may be something wrong with your pitch that you can easily change, but you won’t know until you ask.

Learn from rejection

Use every rejection as a learning opportunity.

What could you have done better?

How could you have made your proposal more appealing to the client?

Could you have done more research around their business before you met?

Should you have followed up sooner?

Was your proposal detailed enough?

Could you have done more to prove your credibility?

There is always room for improvement so use rejection as an opportunity to learn.

Move on

Don’t dwell on rejection. Understand the reasons, learn from them and then move on. Don’t waste time mulling over the ‘what if’s’ or letting self-doubt creep in.

You win some; you lose some – focus on the wins.

Look at the clients that accept your proposals.

What was it that made them choose you over a competitor?

What can you do to win more of the clients you want?

How can you keep the clients you’ve got?

Get the systems right

Sales is a process.

If you don’t understand your process, you are essentially just sitting there with your fingers crossed. You’ll struggle to get consistent results, and you’ll spend too much time focusing on the wrong things.

If you'd like to take control of your time, escape the constant firefighting and build a business that works for you, the easy way to get started is to build a 12 Week Plan. My free planner shows you exactly what you need to do.

Download your free planner now

Rahoul Baruah

Rahoul Baruah

Rubyist since 1.8.6. I like hair, dogs and Kim/Charli/Poppy. Also CTO at Collabor8Online.
Leeds, England