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How To Effectively Handle Rejection | Freelance Sprout | Find, Start, and Grow Your Dream Freelance Business
Read the six part series on creating a freelance business plan
 

How To Effectively Handle Rejection

Date February 26, 2009


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There is no doubt that rejection is a part of life.  How you handle rejection in your personal and professional situations can go a long way toward your ultimate success or failure in life.  If you allow yourself to become overwhelmed or spend too much time focusing on the word “no”, than you are likely going to experience a lot of disappointment and be unproductive.

Before you can move forward after hearing the dreaded word you might find it useful to understand there are different kinds of rejection and how you interpret them can make all the difference in the success of your freelance business.  Pay close attention to what your clients are actually saying in order to react in the best way possible.

The emphatic NO!-  Regardless of the service or product that you are providing, this rejection can make you want to hang up your hat and jump back into the world of the employee, working for someone else.  While it may be a difficult pill to swallow, you will likely recognize this rejection for what it is:  nope, no way, not today, never going to happen.  While it may sting, it is best to understand that what you have to offer may not be right for every potential client and sometimes it is best to cut your losses and move on to a more willing customer.

No, not at this time-  This is slightly easier to handle in the world of rejection.  You may be able to see how you can help your clients business but they may not yet see the benefits or your business relationship.  That being said, while the client is rejecting your business at this time they are doing so in a way that leaves the door open for future conversations.  Respect this client’s decision as it stands but keep them on a list to follow up in the future when their needs may change.

The not quite sure-no-  Things are warming up if you get a no from a client but they are not quite sure if that is where they are committed on the subject.  This potential client may not really understand how your service can help them and they are leaning on the safe side by saying”no thanks”.  With this hesitation comes the opportunity for you to sell yourself and your services and show them why a partnership with you can be mutually beneficial.

No, but perhaps I know someone - A huge factor in landing new customers is the ability to network.  While you may receive a NO from the contact you are currently perusing, you can never be sure who they may know that could indeed benefit from your services.  Always remain professional and polite understanding that while you may not land this particular client the impression you leave with this person may lead to future work through a referral.  Freelancers who receive referrals are more successful than those who must actively market for every single client they receive.

One thing you can count on is that not everyone will be willing to hear you out or consider what it is you are selling.  It may be tough to hear the word no or discover that what you find to be an invaluable service is not right for everyone, learning how to handle rejection with grace without allowing it to bring you down will be the key to your success.

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Related posts:

  1. How to More Effectively Work For Yourself
  2. To Err Is Human – How to Handle Freelance Mistakes
  3. Do You Have What it Takes to be a Freelancer?

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