The best salespeople encounter rejection, it’s inevitable, but they don’t allow that rejection to deflate their motivation. It’s quite the opposite – they use rejection as fuel to get better. Instead of wallowing in despair or self-doubt, they choose to learn from the rejection.
What can this lost opportunity teach me?
Our companies will never improve if we don’t extract the lessons from our losses. In order to do this, we have to ask those companies that rejected us for a debriefing meeting. This is a meeting designed to get honest feedback regarding where your proposal fell short. In most cases, if a prospective client understands that the purpose behind this request is to take the feedback given and make sound changes that will better position your company for success in the future, they will be more inclined to assist. It then becomes our responsibility to do just that – take the feedback, make changes and try again.
One rejection isn’t the end of the world
When a client rejects your proposal, it’s not the best feeling in the world. I understand. But it’s certainly not the end of the world, either. Don’t allow that one “no” to deter you from staying on that client’s radar screen. You want to send periodic follow-up emails, holiday cards and if you’re really on top of your game, you’ll make it a priority to attend events that you know their company will participate in, even if your main contact isn’t scheduled to be in attendance. Why is this important? You want to be on as many radar screens as possible. The more people who know about your business and what it offers, the better. Then, as a follow up, you can reach out to your primary contact and let them know that you met their colleague, share where you met their colleague, and again reiterate that you’re there should they need you as a resource.
Why is follow up important after rejection?
Because if you’ve taken the feedback given and made the necessary changes; if you’ve made it your mission to introduce your company to as many people within that organization as possible; and if you’ve followed up periodically, in a genuine way, showing that you’re still just as much interested in doing business with them as you were day one; then when an opportunity surfaces, when one of your competitors drops the ball, you will be top of mind. You will be the person they call.
Why? Because you didn’t hinge your commitment to building a relationship on receiving a contract. You stayed in contact, you applied the feedback given in a way that strengthened your business and you operated with the highest level of sincerity and professionalism. Those things not only matter to prospective clients, they also have the ability to turn a rejection story into a success story.