How to Handle Rejection in Business

November 19, 2018
November 19, 2018 Madeleine

No one has to be reminded that rejection is a normal part of life. That fact doesn’t make it any easier though. Rejection comes in many forms; from friends, family members, relationships, sports, business, and so on. While personal rejection gives you wiggle room to react, it is important to remain professional when faced with rejection in the business field.

Rejection can be like quicksand. If you do not know how to handle yourself properly, you will become stuck and continue to drown. In business, it can lead to many failures. Learning how to handle rejection in business is an integral part of entrepreneurship. Many people are depending on you and wallowing in rejection is simply not the way to go about it. So, what do you do when you are dealing with rejection?

It is Not Personal

It is hard to not take rejection as a personal attack. When it comes to rejection in business, it is not about who you are as a person but is typically only about how the offer doesn’t fit into their needs or wants-especially in B2B businesses- where it is rarely going to be due to personal reasons.

Emotional responses to rejection are rarely necessary, and they end up taking time away from figuring out what your next step is. Allow yourself to feel the emotions that come with rejection, but do not dwell.

Reasons for a rejection can include:

  • Incompatible values
  • The idea is presented in a bad way
  • Misunderstanding
  • The idea is not well thought out
  • Budget issues
  • Lack of experience

Always Be Prepared

You are setting yourself up for disappointment if you go into every meeting assuming that it will work out in your favor. Yes, confidence is great, but overconfidence can quickly turn into cockiness. You should expect rejection and know what your next plans are ahead of any proposal. This way you are not blindsided and left feeling like a deer in headlights.

Expecting rejection also helps you ensure you are reaching for higher standards. It enables you to continually test your own boundaries as an entrepreneur and with your business. Of course, expecting rejection does not mean that you should become pessimistic. It is about striving to do your best and being able to handle rejection when it happens.

Grow from the Rejection

Many entrepreneurs find themselves experiencing rejection after rejection. This is because they didn’t take the time to evaluate why they were rejected and then make the necessary changes. Every time we experience rejection it is an opportunity to grow and learn from it. You can always ask the specific reasons why your offer was rejected so that you understand why your proposal was rejected. The reasonings will be exactly where to improve your idea. The American self-help author Napoleon Hill says, “strength and growth come only through continuous effort and struggle.” It is important to stay focused and learn from each rejection.

Accept Changes

Everyone is guilty of being stubborn every now and again. Stubbornness can easily become detrimental if you are unwilling to change your ways when it comes to handling your business. Being rejected is not always a negative thing. You can use that rejection as a tool to make the necessary changes to your business, plans, and approach. Not all needed changes will be prevalent. It may take a few rejections to find a common denominator and see where the improvements are needed.

Rejection does not only come from other businesses, but it can come from clients as well. Perhaps you have clients who have decided to no longer use your services or decide to back out of a deal. It’s possible there are issues with the results you are delivering. This is a major indication that changes need to be made.

The best business owners know that there is always room for improvement within the business and how they handle certain situations. Learning to let go of old ways and allow new changes to happen will not only make you a better entrepreneur but it will improve your business.

Try to Adapt a New Mindset

There is a famous saying that if you fall down seven times that you should get up eight times. This can be applied to the business field as well. There will always be naysayers around every corner in the business world. Rejection naturally feels like a failure, but it doesn’t have to. Your outlook will greatly improve if you begin to think that each rejection is another step closer to the “yes” you’ve been looking for. This positive mindset can help navigate you through the realities of business and rejection. It allows you to open your mind to see what necessary steps you need to take in order to get the answer you’ve been looking for finally.

It Gets Easier

The first few times you experience rejection in business can be emotionally brutal. You work hard for something, and then you get turned down. It can be hard to handle rejection when it is something new to you, especially in a start-up business. There is no way to avoid rejection, but it does get easier with each rejection.

Some entrepreneurs begin to question their self-worth and abilities when first experiencing rejection. These are normal reactions that will subside the more you realize it is a part of the game. The less self-doubt you have as an entrepreneur, the better you’ll be able to bounce back from rejection.

Final Thoughts

A lot of good can come out of being rejected if you are willing to look for it. There are people who chose to give up on their business ventures after being rejected once or twice- immediately allowing their businesses to fail. There are many ways to handle rejection that are constructive and pave the way for better execution.

If you look around at colleagues, competitors, and other businesspeople you will find that they have all experienced rejection during their careers. The difference is what they allow to break them and what they choose to fight for.

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