Overcoming Objections & Dealing With Rejections

“But what if they say no?” “What do I do or say if they object?” “How do I handle rejection?”

I am regularly asked these questions during transformation coaching and strategy work sessions with clients focused on pursuing what they really want. Fear sets in when stretching is required. Our comfort zones often limit us going after goals or asking for new or bigger opportunities, lucrative sales and exciting projects.

In order to get what you really want you have to approach the person or situation powerfully and with confidence. Power comes from being prepared, having a strategy and executing effectively.

In 2009, I attended a networking event hosted by The Legal Times (an ALM Publication). It was a breakfast networking event with a panel discussion. I really wanted to write an article for the publication offering advice on how to handle layoffs, a topic I knew was timely based on the recession. At the end of the breakfast I approached a leader from the Legal Times, shared my idea, professional credentials and asked if I could submit my article for publication. To my surprise and delight the answer was “absolutely!” He walked me over to another contact and told her to work with me.

Six weeks later my article was published as the centerfold, I gained instant credibility as an expert in my field and had achieved my goal of being published in a respected industry journal! This could have easily gone differently, I could have been rejected and never been published but I did not allow fear to hold me back. I went in with a plan, told myself I would be resilient if the answer was no and would be persistent to get what I really wanted…and I did!

Here are some tips and techniques to help you get what you really want by overcoming objections and dealing with rejections:

  1. Don’t take objections and rejections personally. These are just responses based on the other party’s needs.
  2. Focus on what you can control.
  3. Be persistent. Just because one person said no doesn’t mean the next one will.
  4. Keep a positive attitude and show gratitude.
  5. Listen to what the other person says. (nod, take notes, smile, etc.)
  6. Validate (Acknowledge) their feelings. (I am sorry you feel upset, I can only imagine what you’ve experienced might make you feel so strongly about this)
  7. Paraphrase what the other person said and repeat back to them to ensure accurate messages are being received. This is an opportunity to clear up miscommunication.
  8. Reframe the opportunity, issue or situation in a way that demonstrates your point and persuades the other person to accept your offer or agree with you.
  9. Incorporate how your solution addresses the other sides pain points (meets budget, helps achieve long-term goals, provide outstanding service to clients, delivers value to audience, etc.)
  10. Mirror the other persons body language. This should be subtle and natural.
  11. Ask questions to open up further discussion and better understand the other sides point of view.
  12. Anticipate possible arguments/objections and prepare a list of the top three strongest reasons the other side should listen or accept your proposal.
  13. Ask the other side to change their mind, consider your suggestions or idea, buy from you and/or accept your proposal. Missed opportunities happen because people are afraid or forget to ask! What’s the worst thing they can say…!!!