We all experience rejection in small doses every day. But what about when we persuade for a living? Rejection seems to take a higher toll. We avoid rejection like the plague, but it affects your income. Running away from the rejection solves nothing. Letting our fears overtake us and paralyze us also solves nothing. Ironically, whether we run or succumb, neither option helps the situation.
Fear of rejection can also affect the bottom line by inhibiting you from getting out there and approaching people in the first place. If you are so incapacitated by fears of rejection that you retreat from attempting persuasion at all, then you have sealed your own fate.
So we can hate and fear rejection all we want, but it's still going to happen. What do great persuaders do about this? How do great persuaders respond so that their fear of rejection doesn't paralyze them and affect their performance?
The first thing to keep in mind is that even if your audience ultimately concludes that your product or service is not the right fit, they are not rejecting you personally. We generally understand this concept on a superficial level, but I ask you to give it some thought and really let it sink in. Do not allow yourself to feel inferior, embarrassed, or depressed based on somebody else's opinion.
The ability to bounce back after being faced with rejection on any scale is critical in the persuasion world. Great persuaders have the ability to erase the negativity from their minds at will and move on with a clean slate in a matter of minutes. This tendency is worth noting considering the fact that most of us hang on to negativity and use it to nurse our wounds or make excuses for weeks, months, and sometimes even years.
Another way to hasten your rebound from rejection is to realize that your worst fears are probably not even realistic. Suppose a sweet deal slipped through your fingers. No matter what you said or did, the client's words were final. In other words, you were rejected. Is your life really over?
Does your audience now hate your guts? Are they going to smear your good name and come after your family in a mad rage? Are they going to spray-paint the office with slanderous, hurtful remarks? Of course not. The truth is, it just wasn't a good fit. They'll have forgotten about it in a matter of minutes or hours, and you should too.