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The fear of rejection

In this short journey, Peter Hanley looks at the fear of rejection and the ways to overcome the problem and learn to use it for your benefit


This is a real problem for some and one that is difficult to overcome.

I understand; we all get hurt by rejection and I am not immune from the
levels of anxiety that can be heaped upon us.

Do we admire the thick-skinned types that shrug their collective shoulders
and just move on to the next task? Or, do we believe, they are just  not caring
about other people?

It is important to understand that we look at rejection in context.

If we are selling, marketing, or promoting a product we know that only a small percentage will buy.

The greater percentage will reject us because of reasons mostly out of our control.

Many times I have stood in front of customers’ premises saying the mantra they don’t want to buy
I just know it. Then I picked up the phone and thought they won’t talk to me and I have gone into a meeting thinking I failed before I even presented.

Why do we fear rejection?

Other than deep-rooted issues carried forward from days past it is also the fear of personal  failure
built on our own expectations.

What we believe to be true to others may not be so.

I am reminded that the two who looked at the number Nine from opposite views, One swears it is a
9 whilst the other is sure it is a 6, you can never convince them otherwise they Know what they see is correct.

Other than going into the physiology of why because we know it is so we just want to fix the problem.

The fear of rejection examples

First of all, another rejection example that may help.

Donald Trump does not fear failure

Donald Trump won the presidency with fewer votes than Hillary Clinton but more states or Colleges something like that.

Now the Trump voters all love him to pieces but the other 55% dislike him intensely and very few will ever change no matter what. The important thing he is the president, he won.

My point is that everyone is not going to like you or what you believe and you have to live with that.

It is a fact of life. What is important is the percentages. A game you can play.

Image of rejection

We teach this in telemarketing. Make 10 calls to get one appointment, and make 10 appointments to get one sale. The challenge then is to change the numbers.

I have picked up a sheet and made 3 appointments in three calls. Wow on a roll. Then it turns bad.

So my challenge is to improve the numbers by getting an extra appointment.  That is eight knockbacks instead of nine.

So what if you get ten? Just adjust the script and keep rolling the dice, it will even out.

What I have done is just to change my perception of success until it suits and then I try and improve on my new level. Yes, it’s a mind game but it does work.

How I overcame appointment failure.

Now those that are doing one on one sales have the same problem. It also comes back to numbers

The fear of rejection is not fatal
but somehow it is a little more personal because you invest more in the interview.

My recovery from this is to dissect the sale.

Was the product correct for the buyer? If there is any doubt at all then-No.

Did you ask enough questions to find the hurdle over which you must jump?

Was the person in a position to say yes? Did they need to or Have to speak to a partner, wife, friend  the pope, etc
Sometimes this is a valid excuse sometimes not and should have been attended before the meeting.

Were you fluid and coherent in your delivery or all over the place?

Did you control the appointment or did the customer.

This point is pertinent because you do not fulfill your fully prepared presentation.

Just recently I visited a Gym of all places to present an idea to the owners; husband and wife team.

The Husband was a veritable jack in the box and asked questions all over the place thus destroying my well-prepared plan. This is really like finishing before you start.
In some cases, you can use “ I will come to that,” sometimes not. In this case, I just kept going back and rejoining my presentation until we had it all covered.
We covered Questions with questions and tried to keep control but it was a rollercoaster ride. Did I get the deal, perhaps yes if I can fix an industry problem, so it is ongoing at this stage?

The fear of rejection

Analyse each and every sale.

The idea behind all this is to analyze each and every sale to discover where it went wrong or even what you did right.

In your breakdown, you take the personalities out of the equation and concentrate on the technicalities.

In this way, it becomes far less personal to you and it is not a rejection just a technical error that can be fixed next time.

Donald Trump is arguably the most powerful person in the world but half the world really does not like him let alone respect him. I believe it is interesting that Donald needs to fight with his haters. He tweets them and brings out the false news because he does not like rejection, he wants to be loved.

For many, rejection is not so bad but for those of us that suffer from it, we must work it to meet our needs.

An interesting observation is when you enter into a legal battle over something that goes to court.
It might be a family matter or any other undertaking but it gets very personal and you get attacked your character slammed and your integrity questioned. What can you do?

How to pretend it is not you?

Desert landscape

Look at the whole as a business decision, what you want to achieve, and the fallback considerations.
Then work to the end result and not the daily small bits that make or justify the end.

Avoid the emotions and embrace the overall plan like it actually belongs to someone else.

De-personalize the whole thing so it does not hurt or destroy you.

You will often see this occur after a tragedy affects a family or group. Someone takes up a campaign to prevent this from happening to anyone else thus minimizing their pain for the good of the result

In closing take steps to protect your well-being and help overcome the many hurdles of life not by avoiding them but by managing them to assist you.

This is a part of many small business articles designed to help.

The fear of rejection by Peter Hanley

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