By Silver Kayondo- The Business Coach
Rejection is a fact of life and so it is with business. It takes various forms which include outright rejection of your product or service by prospective clients, being told you are not good enough for a specific task, being told that you are too small for a partnership with a bigger brand, being turned down by a prospective investor or business partner; or missing out on bigger business opportunities due to limited financial muscle. Other forms are much more subtle, such as unanswered e-mails or calls that go unpicked.
Irrespective of whatever form it takes, rejection can be a painful experience that causes self-doubt and loss of esteem by some entrepreneurs depending on frequency and how it is handled. The interesting reality about rejection is that even some of the most re-known entrepreneurs have experienced it at some point in their lives. For instance, the late Steve Jobs was fired from his own company, Apple. Oprah Winfrey was fired from her job as an evening news reporter at Baltimore WYZ-TV because she was deemed not good enough for television news. Madonna, the Queen of Pop dropped out of College and could not last even a day working at a doughnut store. Alibaba CEO, Jack Ma was rejected by Harvard University ten times, and was also rejected for a job at KFC.
In this week’s edition of “The Business Coach”, I would like to share with you some winning tips on how to cope with rejection and turn such negative experiences into rays of positivity.
1. Rejection is an inevitable fact of life. Not everyone will like you or your product. Once you acknowledge this, you are better placed to deal with it.
2. Taking rejection personal is one of the worst things that you can do for yourself and your business. Clients’ preferences are dynamic and keep changing. A “no” today does not necessarily mean that your product or service will not be needed in future.
3. Being tenacious and resilient in the face of rejection is a hallmark of greatness.
4. Focus on the positives and see rejection as an opportunity to learn and discover more about clients’ needs and preferences, refining your value proposition to other potential clients, exploring new clients and market segments, et cetera.
5. Ask for feedback and learn from the experience. Some feedback is constructive and some prospective clients are entrepreneurs themselves. So, their feedback will help you address the gaps such as sales pitches, business model, payment plans, and customer engagements, among other aspects. Feedback is the breakfast of champions.
Week’s tip: One of the techniques you can use to obtain feedback from unconverted clients or partners is sending them a general e-mail thanking them for the opportunity to hear about your business or product. Then ask them what you could have done better to meet their current needs, or what you could do better/refine to meet their future needs. Be polite and courteous instead of accusatory and demanding in explanation as to why they did not buy your product or service. If they opt not to answer, leave it at that. Do not be annoying and spam them with continuous messages.
Remember to always catch “The Business Coach” segment in “The Business Perspective” show which airs on NBS TV on Mondays from 8:30-9:00 pm. You can also follow the discussion on Twitter @nbstv and You Tube @ Next Media Uganda.
Silver Kayondo is a commercial lawyer, technology enthusiast, venture capital advisor and Fourth Industrial Revolution evangelist.
Twitter: @SilverKayondo Email: [email protected]