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 a choice.


> In General


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.


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