Get Rejected or Get Lost

I’ve faced rejection my entire life in one way or another; whether I was asking a girl out on a date, looking for a job, or selling. At age forty-six, while there is certainly always a bit of a sting when it happens, I’m completely okay with it.

If you’re in sale’s, or any position where you need people to say “yes” in order for you to make money or achieve success, “no’s” are always going to outweigh “yes’s.”  Just like in Vegas, the odds are not in your favor. However, unlike Vegas, the cost of every “no” should be minimal. And when you do get your “yes,” the rewards of that “yes” should far outweigh everything all the “no’s” have cost you. Once you perfect your pitch and know your wares, prospecting should become a statistical probability much like amateur darts. The more you throw, the more you hit the board. If you’re lucky, every once in a while you’ll hit that perfect bulls-eye.

I think about things like what life would be like if I had not only realized, but embraced this dart board analogy when I was young; especially where girls were concerned. As a teenager, fear of rejection dominated me. The thought of taking a risk and putting myself out there by asking a girl out was just something I could not bring myself to do no matter how much I tried to rationalize any worst case scenario.

“She’ll laugh at me. She’ll tell everyone what a dip-shit I am (as if they didn’t already know). She’ll take out an ad in the New York Times letting the world know what a dip-shit I am.” And so on and so forth. Hardly rational thinking. Real fears none the less.

At one point when I was just out of college, I went to work at a prominent talent agency here in L.A. Unfortunately no one asked me in the interview if I feared rejection because if they had, I could have saved the two worst years of my life that I went on to spend inside that agency only to discover I was not ready to sell.

It’s an unfortunate thing because looking back at it now, I could have done it. If only I could have worked my way through my irrational fear of rejection.

Better late than never I suppose.

Now as I look at the world through my forty-six year old eyes, I can tell you without the least bit of hesitation: Rejection? Who gives a shit? It’s part of life. It’s necessary. If no one crumbled from it, the rest of us would never get ahead. And the minute you can get your mind around this, that’s the minute you can sell a ketchup Popsicle to a woman in white gloves (thank you Tommy Boy).

Suddenly I’m back in sales after a five-year side-trip into another business. When I started selling promotional products sixteen years ago, fear of rejection still dominated me. However, with every sales call I made, the fear dissipated until finally, it was meaningless. And then there was achievement and all of the wonderful things it brought. Having left the business as I did five years ago, I do not have the customers I once had. I’m basically back to square one, out and about looking for new clients just as I did sixteen years ago. The only difference is, I’m working from an entirely different mindset. I expect rejection every day. I welcome it. Well, maybe not welcome it. But I expect it. Without it, there is no life. And there sure as hell can’t be success.

I hope you will continue to follow my progress (and hopefully success) as I transition back into this life as a promotional products salesman after a five-year absence. Feel free to ask questions or leave comments as you see fit.  I also hope you’ll contact me should you be in need of any sort of promotional or marketing products. I can be reached at matt@thelogoshop.com. Also, please follow me on twitter @CustomMerchGuru.


 

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