Conquering the Fear of Rejection

For many small business owners getting their products and services into the hands of future customers is a challenge. Oftentimes, the number one reason for their struggle is the fear of rejection, which keeps them from stepping out to market their wares. 

If you are representing a product you probably use it yourself and believe in it with all your heart. It’s difficult to understand why everyone wouldn’t feel the same way. And inventors have poured blood, sweat and tears into developing their products, not to mention their life savings!  In both cases it’s natural to embrace your business as an extension of your very being. But to realize your dream of success, a separation of self and product is necessary.  A simple shift in mindset will give you the courage and commitment to step boldly into the world of sales and marketing and move your product into the hands of the many customers who await your goods!

1.      Remember that your cold call (or warm call) has three primary purposes and one desired outcome: To begin building a relationship; to move the person into a “contact later” list; or to take the disinterested party off the list altogether.  Understanding this takes off the pressure of making a sale. It also gives you permission to embrace the fact that not everyone is the perfect candidate. This doesn’t mean that they don’t like you or your product; it simply means that the product is not right for them at this time.

2.      Understand that you are speaking to a human being who has feelings, moods and fears, just like you. If you do encounter someone who is rude or unpleasant, consider that it is NOT all about you. Don’t take it personally! Most likely, this person’s mood has been pre-determined by all sorts of other circumstances. Allow them their space and get on with your day.

3.      Take on the attitude that the phone call or initial meeting IS the success. You have taken a huge step! And the more often you do it, the higher your odds of success. Again, take the heat off by visualizing an outcome that is best for ALL concerned. Sometimes, a “no” is the perfect answer because the circumstances aren’t just right. It’s best to know this up front before you get into something that is doomed from the beginning.  No matter what answer you get from your prospect, celebrate the fact that you actually made contact and you are one step closer to your ideal customer.

4.      Work the numbers. Try to remove the emotion by seeing your phone calls and meetings as statistics. If you make twenty-five phone cold calls, odds are good that you will find one person who will want to learn more. Of course, this depends on the quality of your list and how many actual connections you make. The odds are the same for everyone; everyone gets the “no”.

5.      Know that you are not alone. Did you know that 44% of sales people quit after the first “no”? Considering that 40% of all solid prospects say no at least once before buying, this is a sad statistic. You are not alone in your fear and frustration, but if you can buck up and be persistent you will succeed! Again, the proof is in the numbers!

No matter how emotionally connected you are to your product, it is only as good as your efforts to promote it. Respect your hard work and dedication to the product development by transferring the same determination to your sales efforts. You can do it!
Marla Tabaka is a life & business coach who inspires entrepreneurs around the world to attain what she calls, The Million-Dollar Mindset. As a result, many of her clients have achieved – even surpassed – the million dollar mark in annual revenues and are living the life of their dreams.  In addition to running a thriving practice, Marla is a columnist for Inc. Magazine on-line, and hosts two international on-line radio shows, The Million Dollar Mindset and Million Dollar Mindset Tapping.  Marla wrote this feature article exclusively for Debbie (, an organization dedicated to helping small businesses succeed.