My husband is a content writer and often puts together About Me sections and LinkedIn profiles for clients. One thing in particular sticks in my mind about how he approaches these tasks may be worth sharing. He always informs his clients – “It’s not about you. It’s about what you can do for your clients.” I have learned to apply this idea to being rejected in business.
Rejection is all around us in life and business so learning to deal with it is imperative. The best way to deal with it is to learn from it. Whatever you do – don’t take it personally! Remember, as long as you are a reasonable human with normal affability then it was your idea that was rejected, not you. So concentrate on the idea.
Feedback is vital. Without being overly intrusive, seek an audience with your rejecter and find out why the idea failed. Was it the pitch? Were details missing? Didn’t it add up? Did it cost too much? Did it not suit at this time? If the same idea presented in the same manner fails again, well, maybe there are lessons there to be learned.
Look at your idea from the point of view of your potential client and make sure you can answer this question – “What’s in it for me?” When answering this question make sure there’s a lot in for them! Obviously, think of their bottom line. However, business is about more than this so think about their customers, their marketing strategy, their IT department, their fleet of vehicles, their CRM, their whatever! The more roundly appealing you can make your idea the more likely you are to develop a relationship with them. To do this, you must develop an in-depth understanding of their business and the ways you may be able to assist.
So here’s the take-home message. Before pitching, spend some time building the relationship. You’ll find the pitch may not even be necessary. Evolution will just take its course and rejection may be avoided altogether.
Lisa Sweeney – BIH Executive Director