Darla knew that her friend, Beth, would really enjoy running her own ItWorks! business, but every time she tried to talk about it, Beth changed the subject.
Simone wanted to approach her sister-in-law, Carrie, about the idea, but she was so concerned she might say “no”—and that things would be awkward between them—that she never found the courage to speak up.
By far, the hardest part of running your own business is dealing with rejection—or the fear of rejection. Fortunately, I have some tried-and-true methods to help make it easier, so you can open up the world of ItWorks! to others in a way that feels genuine, giving, and exciting for both you and your prospect.
1. MAKE TIME: Where Most People Go Wrong
Where most of us go wrong with our approach is that we don’t allow ourselves enough time. If Darla tries to explain the business on a five-minute phone call, she makes it too easy for Darla to say “No, sorry, doesn’t sound right for me.”
In this situation, Beth’s answer probably has little to do with what she really thinks about the opportunity and more to do with the fact that her car is overheating, she has to go pick up her son from preschool, and then make it home in time to get ready for a planned dinner out with her husband.
Instead, focus on making the appointment. Darla should tell Beth she has a new idea and she wants Beth’s opinion. Period. Stop. Then she can work toward setting up an appointment for coffee, lunch, a walk around the park, or something similar, where she can get Beth to herself.
Presenting the business in this way helps improve your odds of success, as your prospect will be relaxed and able to give you his or her full attention.
2. BE SPECIFIC: Zeroing In On the Person’s Strengths
The next thing most of us do wrong is that we fail to see our prospects as individuals. If we come across as eager beavers just wanting another name on our list, our prospects will clearly sense it, and will feel devalued. Imagine how you feel when someone looks at you as a number rather than as a person.
Instead, think about what is unique about your prospect, and what he or she can bring to the table in a network marketing business. Is he practiced at putting people at ease? Is she conscientious and responsible? Is he creative and always coming up with new ideas? Find out what her strengths are and use them.
Carrie, for example, is very conscientious about the products she buys. She’s always reading labels, and wants only the healthiest options for herself and her family. So Simone could say, “I’ve noticed you really take good care of yourself, and I admire how careful you are about the products you bring into your home. I’ve been using these new products that make me feel great—I’ve got to show you. Are you available for lunch on Wednesday?”
If you have a friend that’s really into beauty, you can start by complimenting her on her great skin, and then tell her you’d love to share these new body wraps you found. Is she open for lunch?
If you’re talking to a fitness buff, say you’ve noticed how in shape he is, and mention the new snack bars or protein shakes that are helping you buff up. Schedule a jog together to share the scoop.
Got a neighbor that has dreams of being an entrepreneur? Compliment him on his independent spirit and tell him you have a hunch you’ve got something he’d be interested in. Make an appointment. Make it personal!
3. STAY CALM: Understand Where the Other Person is Coming From
The third thing many of us do wrong is that when the other person starts resisting, we get our backs up. Being defensive is a natural go-to when we’re feeling attacked, and that’s often how it feels when someone says something like the following:
- Is this one of those MLM things?
- I’m sorry, but I just don’t have time.
- I don’t want to get into that. My significant other would kill me.
When you hear these comments, does your tone of voice change? Do you start defending yourself? Do you get angry?
It’s okay. We all have these natural instincts, but you can overcome them. Stay calm. Keep your voice neutral, and put yourself in the other person’s shoes. Most likely, you’d probably have the same concerns. Realize where they’re coming from, and above all, be a friend.
4. RELATE: You are in the Same Boat
Your next step when faced with resistance is to relate to the person. You want to stay on the same side. That means making statements like the following:
- I understand. I thought that at first, too.
- There are unscrupulous companies out there, for sure, but I’ve found this isn’t one of them.
- I can identify with that. I mean, just getting my family together for dinner is a monumental accomplishment these days! I don’t want to waste your time, but I just really feel that you would be interested in this opportunity.
- Oh absolutely, you have to be careful. You can definitely be the judge, but I just can’t believe how this has taken off for me.
Remember that resistance is completely normal. There are more scams out there today than ever before. People have to be cautious. Realize your prospect is just doing what he or she thinks is best. Stay with them—on their side. Relate, then tell your story. Your enthusiasm is the best sales tool.
5. SMILE: “No” Doesn’t Always Mean “No” Forever
Sometimes, no matter what you do, your prospect will still say “no.” Then what?
Final rejection stings. We want to turn tail and run. Resist that temptation. Smile. Shake hands. Continue to relate. You understand. You’ve been there.
Then realize that prospect is not necessarily gone forever. Things happen. People change their minds.
It’s critical, though, to leave the person with a warm feeling. If the meeting ends in an awkward or uncomfortable way, your chances are gone.
Continue to put yourself in the other person’s shoes. Mention again the reason you approached her in the first place. Reassure her that either way, you admire her for her strengths. Mention what you’ve learned from her. It’s all about the other person and what’s right for her.
- I understand completely, and I really appreciate you taking your time. I mean, when I started getting into healthy products I thought of you immediately, because you were doing that way before I was.
- Don’t worry about it, I understand. It’s a big decision to start a new business. What really helped me was that the risks were minimal with ItWorks!, so if you ever want to try it, let me know, but I’m so grateful for your time today.
- You know, I’ve seen you make some really smart decisions so I respect your opinion completely. I wanted to share this with you because you do seem to have a head for business, so if you change your mind please do let me know, but either way I really enjoyed lunch!
When you really care and you come across as authentic, people can feel it, and you never know—that seed may sprout down the line when you least expect it.
One Final Note
There’s one step missing, and that is to take care of yourself! Resistance and rejection are tough, and can sap us of our enthusiasm and energy. So after you deal with it through the five steps above, take time to take care of yourself. Do something you enjoy. Talk to an enthusiastic friend or business partner. Go for a nice long walk. Remind yourself of all the things you’ve done right, and get back to making appointments tomorrow!
How do you deal with resistance and rejection? Please share any thoughts you have.