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Wayne Ens

The Fear of Rejection


When we first began ENS Media Inc., I seriously considered investing in a consulting or training franchise because they offered recognized names and templated systems. I attended the various business franchise introductory seminars, presentations, and previews.

Even though I decided not to purchase one, it was an interesting learning exercise.

What struck me most was the fear that most of the other attendees had of selling. In virtually every session I attended, the facilitator made it more than clear that although their product, processes, and systems were excellent, they wouldnt sell themselves.

The most common sentiment seemed to be that everyone felt "selling" was somehow beneath them. They all wanted a short cut advertising solution to make sales for them. The accountants who were entertaining a business performance franchise said they wanted to be too busy consulting to sell.

The creative types who participated in ad agency franchise presentations were sure there must be a way to generate sales with a great ad campaign rather than getting their hands dirty selling.

To their credit, every franchise presenter made it very clear that their franchise would not be successful without marketing and selling. They knew that the reputation created by a failed franchise would make it harder to sell other franchises in the future. And they knew that the franchise would fail if the franchisee wasnt willing to roll up their sleeves and sell!

That fear of selling, or picking up the phone and making a call, is simply a natural fear of rejection. No one in their right mind likes rejection, whether its from a high school sweetheart or a business prospect.

But the whole fear of rejection thing is strictly a function of attitude. Ive never thought of myself as "selling," whether I was presenting media, ad agency services, or my own consulting or revenue development systems.

Rather, Ive always thought of myself as offering my prospects a huge opportunity to grow their business. I know how hard we work, and that what we do produces results. Therefore, when a prospect misses the opportunity I present, I dont feel rejected, I feel sorry for them. Its their loss, not mine.

Mark Twain said, Courage is mastery of fear, not absence of fear.

Here are a few things you can do to master the fear of rejection:

1.) Know your product. Your prospect only dabbles in marketing while trying to run her business, hire staff, order merchandise, deal with taxes, accommodate customer complaints, renew her lease and fight with banks. Knowing that you are a full time student of marketing gives you more expertise on the subject than your clients.

2.) Be comfortable with the "what if?".  What if your prospect doesnt buy? Knowing that you have succeeded up until now without your new prospects business helps you to take the "what if" in stride. You lived before you met them, and life goes on without a hitch after the rejection.

3.) Be sincere and have integrity.  Make sure, based upon your expertise, that what you are proposing really does deliver value to the client. Knowing you are doing whats best for the client increases your confidence level, and selling is often merely transference of confidence.

4.) Understand the steps.  If you know your closing ratio, and the steps involved in your selling process, youll understand that each step takes you one step closer to a sale. For example, if you know your closing ratio is one in 10, then you can train yourself to become more excited with each rejection. At rejection number nine, youre one presentation away from making a sale!

5.) No doesnt mean no. Understand that a clients needs and strategies often change. A prospect who says "no" to one idea or presentation, may see the merit in another idea or strategy in your next presentation.

Wayne Ens is president of ENS Media Inc,  producer of the SoundADvice radio e-marketing system and the Winning in the New Media Economy revenue development system. He can be reached at