When I first set up my own business, the one thing I hadn’t quite prepared myself for was the feeling of rejection. Of course, I had experienced rejection to some extent in my life: a boy from school who completely failed to notice me and a couple of job interviews here and there – but on the whole nothing significant. In fact, I was always reassured that with every rejection I faced, there was always something better for me around the corner whether that was a better boyfriend or a better job.
Then I set up my own business. I was enthusiastic. I was motivated. I had done my research and thought that everyone would want my products. I would get requests for information; requests for quotations – and I would feel even more enthusiastic. And then, I would hear nothing. It would seem that for every job I won, another would fall by the wayside. I questioned myself: was I not good enough? Were my prices too high? Did people not like me? Was I being completely unrealistic that I could ever have a successful business?
I then spoke to a fellow coach and explained my predicament – and guess what? She said that actually my conversion rate from enquiry to customer was relatively high and that rejection is completely normal. Of course, the rational part of my brain already knew this, but it was so nice to hear from someone else. I reflected that I do get really great feedback from the customers that do buy from me, and often they buy again. I also realised that I cannot please everyone all the time – some people might not see me or my products as a fit to their needs and yes, sometimes people may view my prices too high (and sometimes too cheap).
I was recently reminded of this feeling of rejection when I spoke to a friend of mine. She too owns her own business and we often talk about our plans, what marketing we’re doing and reflect on how we’re getting on (and of course, give each other great ideas along the way). However, she was complaining how she had had a few people un-follow her Facebook page and how in that particularly week she had 20 new subscribes to her newsletter, 4 opt outs and 2 un-subscribes. She was visibly upset (I mean, really upset – on the verge of tears) and couldn’t understand why people didn’t like her. Yikes – at what point did people say they didn’t like her? Why did this all feel so personal to her? And what about all those lovely clients she has that buys her products on a regular basis?
It gave a really useful reminder that actually if market our business appropriately, we really shouldn’t be appealing to everyone – we should be appealing to our ideal clients. Sometimes people are drawn to our business who aren’t those ideal clients – and if they realise that and opt out or un-subscribe, that’s probably a good thing. There’s no point in trying to keep them interested, as the likelihood is, they either won’t buy our products or appreciate them in the way that our ideal clients would. Equally, sometimes people are drawn to the business for a particular need and when that need has been fulfilled, they no longer need the support. There are actually loads of reasons why people choose not to buy – but it is never failure or rejection.
So next time, you are faced with perceived rejection – consider a balanced perspective. If you have clients that love you, think about how you can get more clients like them and don’t even try to appeal to those who are not a good fit. And – you’re doing a great job!