How To Survive "No, Thanks." In Business

by Dr. Rachna D. Jain

When owning or operating a business, it's inevitable that sometimes, people will not buy your product or service. This might occur early in the contact cycle, or it might occur later, after you've expended some amount of time, money, and effort. While this never feels good, here are 10 ways you can minimize its impact on you and your business.

  1. Maintain a very high level of regular self care. This means that you make a commitment to your health and needs for sleep, exercise, good nutrition, and relaxation. It means that you have adequate reserves of time, money, and resources so that you have more than you need in all these areas. If you don't, today, have "more than you need" getting to this level should be one of your first priorities. There is little worse than "needing" a client to buy so you can meet your monthly rent payment. Take strong action to increase your reserves.
  2. Find a different spot to stand in. This means that you find a way to shift your perspective on the process. Some will take rejection and use it as an excuse to never try again. Others will find a way to use the experience and make it in something bigger, more generative, and more powerful. Which approach is more likely to foster success?
  3. Consider that the solution might be "not this way - try another". This means that this event might, actually, give you a guidepost of how to move forward on your next attempt. If you can, find out why the prospect did not buy your product or service. A simple follow-up call can show you ways to improve your selling process for next time.
  4. Remind yourself that it's not personal. This means, don't make the person's decision as reflective of your talents, or your abilities. Some people are not right for you or your company, and some people are. When someone has said "No" be glad. They wouldn't have been happy with what you offered, and may have cost more (in time, effort, special requests) in the long run. It's easier to do this, by the way, when you don't "need" the sale - see tip #1.
  5. Decrease the time you spend with people who don't respect you, your product, or your service. This means, instead, spend more resources cultivating people who value what you offer. Generate an "ideal prospect" profile and stick with this. Your bottom line will reflect the difference.
  6. Keep moving on. Very often, we take a "no" and we think about it... plan what we'll say next short, we live the event hundreds of times when, in fact, it was just, really, a few minutes in our life. The best antidote to this is to take the next action, and the next, and the next. Keep moving forward and don't dwell on the past.
  7. Broaden your definition of success. The number one reason people feel bad when someone says, "no" is because they feel a strong attachment to the outcome. Instead of looking at outcomes, or being attached to how things turn out, perhaps you can look at success as getting out there in the first place. How would it be if you went for effort rather than outcome, even sometimes?
  8. Start a success journal - immediately. For every No you've ever experienced, you probably could list tens (if not hundreds) of situations in which people said "Yes!" to who you are or what you offer. When you feel upset or down about one particular situation, aim to list at least 100 things you've succeeded in already.
  9. Shift your focus from what happened. Distract yourself by thinking of all the good and fun things you want to attain or achieve. Whatever you think about gets bigger in your life, so make sure you're thinking good thoughts. Take each experience as an isolated occurrence, not the absolute, ultimate truth.
  10. Commit to routinely attracting more customers than you need. "No, thanks" is much easier to handle - economically - when you have a steady flow of qualified prospects streaming in. If you aren't in this position, be sure to revisit your marketing plan and recommit to daily marketing actions. It's easy to get away from this when business picks up, and harder to generate momentum when business goes down.

Taken together, these strategies will help you overcome "No, Thanks." while building a more successful business.

© 2003. Dr. Rachna D. Jain. All Rights in All Media Reserved.

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About the Author

Dr. Rachna D. Jain is a sales and marketing coach and Director of Operations for Sign up for her free email newsletter, "Sales & Marketing Secrets" email

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