Lessons from a Saleswoman by C. Morgan Kennedy
I make my living doing sales and marketing. Any career salesperson will tell you that rejection is part of the game. I don’t know how many rejections it takes to equal one sale, but I can say that it is more than a two to one ratio. It truly is the tenacious person that wins, but that tenacity has to be rooted in a foundation of listening and learning or your message or product will quickly be ignored.
Here are a few pointers from a professional saleswoman on rejection:
Lesson #1: Grin & Bear It
The hard truth is – Everyone isn’t going to love your product (book or story). The sooner you accept this fact, the better off you’ll be. Simply thank the person for their time and move on. Customers (readers) are allowed to have an opinion, but you don’t have to accept their opinion as an ultimate truth. Handle their criticism gracefully, don’t resort to arguing, and get cracking on your next product (book).
Lesson #2: Listen with an Open Mind
Often we are quick to go on the defensive. By immediately taking a defensive stance, you may be missing out on an opportunity to learn something new. Especially when the rejection is coming from an agent or editor.
Lesson #3: Reflection and Introspection
Once you have listened with an open mind, it is your call as to whether the input or rejection is valid. Often I see salespeople (writers) try to twist and mold themselves and / or their products based on one person’s criticism. Take the time to reflect on what the person had to say, if they have valid points – learn from it. If they are being petty or completely miss the point of what you are trying to accomplish, then toss their opinion on the trash heap. It’s your call on what you decide to do with the opinion presented and sometimes the best action is to ignore it.
Lesson #4: Move On
This lesson is perhaps the hardest to learn. As human beings, we often seek out and dwell on the negatives. Just the other day, I was on Amazon preparing to write a review for a great book I just read. I found myself reading the few negative reviews and completely ignoring the vast number of overwhelmingly positive reviews. Sheesh! (By-the-way, I didn’t agree with any of the negative posts. In fact, I don’t think many of the negative reviewers actually read the book.) Don’t dwell on the rejection. Learn what you can, then MOVE ON to your next project. How can you apply what you’ve learned if you don’t start something new?
Lesson #5: Be Prepared
You know rejection is going to come your way, so prepare yourself mentally. Think about how you deal with rejection today. If it rolls off of you, great! If you churn over it, beating yourself up in the process of trying to digest it, find a more constructive way to work through it. Yes, that last part is easier said than done, but you have to find a way to remain sane and healthy.
How do you deal with rejection? Leave a comment and let us know….