Rejection is a fact of life when you’re selling anything, including consulting services. And while there are some consultants out there who are able to easily brush off the “no’s” and move onto the next prospect, for many others – especially those new to consulting – rejection can be harder to take. As a result, it can become a stumbling block to successful sales.
However, if you really want to build your consulting business, you have to get over the ‘no’s’ – and remain optimistic, driven, confident, and 100% client focused. No, it’s not easy.
To help you, here are some tips to consider:
• Don’t take it personally. A prospect isn’t personally rejecting you when they say “no.” They are rejecting what you’re proposing. So either you’re not the right fit for them, the timing is off, or your pitch needs work. Take it as a lesson learned.
• Expect some rejection. Not every phone call or meeting is going to lead to a sale. When you keep this in mind, rejection becomes somewhat easier to take. So talk to your peers about their closing ratios and identify your own, as well. When you have a specific number in mind, it’s easier to stay optimistic when you get a “no.”
• Stay connected. Just because a prospect rejected you, doesn’t mean you should write them off – especially if you know you could help them. Try to keep the relationship going. Follow up with them, send them articles or white papers you think they’d be interested in, and work to establish yourself as an expert in their eyes. When you focus on building relationships, sales will follow suit.
• Know you’re not alone. Type in “rejection” into Amazon.com and you get over 13,000 hits back. If rejection was easy to take, there wouldn’t be so much written about it. So you’re certainly not alone. And if it’s really got you down, talk to friends and colleague about it. Keep in mind too that everyone gets rejected at some point. What distinguishes the good from the great is how they handle it.