You put in a lot of work to whip up an enticing offer for the prospective client. You are even making some sacrifices so you can make a great impression and win the heart of the audience you will be pitching your idea to. The stage is set, and you are buzzing with excitement. If you seal the deal, you might be set for life. After stringing together what could easily have been your most inspiring and persuasive words, the client says no. Nothing prepares you for this.
There is a tendency for you to want to hit someone or smash a few things. This isn’t weird at all. It’s a perfectly normal reaction to rejection. The emotions of resentment, anger and frustration that accompany being turned down aren’t a problem, and it’s what we allow them to make us do that could become real sources of concern. You need to be able to get your acts together following a rejection. The tips shortlisted below will show you how to do just that.
Resist the Urge to Reply with The First Words That Come to Mind
You are understandably hurt and disappointed. You probably feel life is unfair and that this client should get a piece of your mind too. But don’t forget that you are a professional and ethics still matter. So instead of doing what every minuscule fibre in your body desperately wants you to do, take a breather.
Calm your nerves and let the storm of emotions brewing in your mind be abated. Then go on to put together a response for the client. You should probably run your message by someone else before sending it off. Let this person assess your tone for any form of veiled aggression or mild cheek.
The present opportunity might be lost, but there is no point ruining the prospect of ever working with that client by being rude and unprofessional. You won’t feel better when doing that either way, so exercise some control.
Don’t Take it Personally
The mind is quite good at spinning narratives and churning out theories when we are stressed. This is not a time to pay attention to such suppositions.
You’ve just received a response from your prospect telling you that all the work you put into the proposal was wasted. Amongst other emotions, you will also feel confused and begin to wonder what you did wrong. In these times, you might be forced to believe that whatever caused your client to reject your offer was more related to your personality than it was to the offer itself. Don’t dwell on such thoughts. They will do your self-esteem little good and will adversely affect how you approach future prospects.
Rather, choose to be objective and real in your assessment of the probable factors that led to your proposal being rejected. Create a checklist of probable causes if you must, but don’t put yourself at the centre of it.
Do a Critical Review of Your Methods
While it is unhealthy to attach rejection from a prospect to your personality, it’s expedient that you take a few steps back and review the methods you applied. Everyone fails, and some do more than others. The key difference, however, between those who succeed and those who don’t is the attention given to learning from past mistakes. So don’t spend all the time sulking. Sulk a little, then get to work in finding out why you didn’t get the deal. If possible, reach out to the client for feedback.
Take notes and plan to make necessary adjustments when you pitch to subsequent prospects deliberately. Ask questions like how did you structure your proposal? Were emphasis laid on your general capabilities or on your ability to meet the client’s specific needs? This is how past failures can serve as a foundation for tremendous future successes.
Talk to Someone
You know how writers usually give their works out to editors to identify and take out the trash the authors might have missed? You can implement the same approach in identifying what you might have done wrong while pitching your idea.
It’s convenient for you to think that your methods were spot on, but by reeling out the course of events to someone else, you can get an objective view of how well you did. So send over copies of your proposals to someone knowledgeable in your field, meet with them to discuss over coffee or correspond via emails. Go as far as relating to them what you said in meetings with the client, how you reacted to questions, how the client reacted to your answers, and so many other key details.
Just get an extra pair of keen eyes to evaluate the entire proceedings and possibly point out cracks.
Be Willing to Prepare Another Offer
While digging for information on why your first offer was rejected, you might find out that this happened for a reason that could be resolved by a new offer. In such situations, don’t be put off by the client’s initial dismissive attitude. Get back to the drawing board or whatever it is that you use and map out an improved offer.
Don’t be unreasonably rigid and petulant. You need the job, and that’s why you applied in the first place, so try and make it work! Although you should probably check with the prospect first and ascertain if they would consider a new and improved offer, so you don’t waste your time on drawing one up.
Keep Your Ears to The Ground
Sometimes, an opportunity to submit an upgraded offer might not present itself immediately, but that does not necessarily mean you should walk away and never look back. Save whatever contacts you might have acquired and connected with them on social media. A better opportunity might arise from the same client, and you will only be privy to it if you stay close.
Also, not choosing to stamp your feet and slam the door on your way out would show that you are not a sour loser. Thereby making you look good in the eyes of your prospect. Guess what? You just took a step closer to one day securing a deal from them.
While it may sound a little unusual, you should keep records of your failures. Not so they can be used as excuses for organizing a pity party, but so you can keep track of your growth and development. This is because understanding where you are coming from will go a long way in helping you perceive how far you have come.
Furthermore, in really difficult times, seeing the battles you once survived might prove encouraging. So, don’t discard every aspect of the rejection you just faced or repress the memory of the entire event. The experience and lessons learnt might come in handy later.
Let This One go
We have looked at the possibility of presenting an improved offer to the client, but sometimes this opportunity will be unavailable. In such times, please do not become a thorn in the flesh of the prospect. There is no need to pester them if they have expressed no interest in considering a new offer. Thank the prospect for their time while stating that you hope to someday work with them. Then walk away with your dignity intact because one job isn’t going to define you.
Rejection hurts bad, but we can hurt ourselves more and for longer periods by failing to handle it properly. So pick yourself up and make the most it by learning where your weaknesses lie. And even if the fault doesn’t lie with you, there is always a lesson to learn there. For you, it could be learning to qualify prospective clients, so you don’t waste precious time on your next time out. All in all, ensure you get back in the game as soon as possible with a clear head.