Rejection IS Personal!

Businesswoman talking on cell phone 14In addressing the issue of REJECTION, we mentioned last week that you shouldn’t let it get to you too much—to not take it personally. After all, it’s not personal…or is it?

It takes me to a meeting with my own manager back when I was at Principal Financial Group, and I was sharing with him an account of a recent “rejection.” Attempting to shake it off, I told my manager, “It’s okay. I know it’s not personal.”

“Oh yes it is! It’s very personal!” he snapped back, clearly not wanting me to just shake it off. He had cornered me in my own self-deceit. He was right. Often times, especially in some industries, the rejection is personal. How can it not be, when you are providing such a personal service?

In a previous article headlined “Why People Buy,” I addressed the primary reasons people engage in long-term business relationships. Perhaps that truth is no more evident than in financial services: likeability and trust. But keep reading, because this applies across professions, and across industries.

“I’ve observed two primary phases that must be passed for a business relationship to nurture and thus grow,” notes Merri Bame, of BDB Communication, an executive communication coach serving clients in both Columbus and Toledo.

“The first is attractability,” she continues. “Each of us must look in the mirror and ask ourselves, ‘Am I attractable? Do I draw people to me? Am I pleasant to be around?’” Bame points out that when we are out networking or sitting down with someone for the first time, we are, hopefully, putting the BEST of ourselves out there—at least when it comes to a first impression and the potential to generate rapport.

“If we get through that phase, then next we have to build credibility,” Bame says. “Most often, this takes more time. It is also riskier, because we must reveal more of ourselves—our full selves if you will. And that is where all of us are vulnerable.”

So, what avoiding rejection ultimately comes down to is, as we have pointed out before, likeability and trustworthiness.

The Value of Trust

A few years back a Columbus, Ohio financial services firm conducted a study of two hundred clients with excess capital of at least one million dollars to invest.

They were asked to identify the most important characteristics that they would seek in an investment representative, and to prioritize them in the order of importance, from the top down.

Trustworthiness, honesty and integrity were at the top! At the bottom (while still important) were professional competence. High net worth clients felt that the return OF their money trumped the “rate of return” ON their money.

So does this mean that when someone rejects you, they are saying they do not trust you? Well, not always.

Perhaps they are simply stating that they trust someone else more. But trust is the element that lubricates the sales process.

But while trust can shorten a sales cycle on a transaction, it can take a while to develop. Getting back to Bame’s point: it takes time. It takes opening yourself up. It takes the risk of making yourself vulnerable…to rejection.

Are you prepared?

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