Have you ever really wanted something? And then been kicked in the gut when you didn’t get it?
Most of us spend all of our lives trying to avoid that feeling. The common expectation is that the more successful we get, the further removed we’ll get from feelings like that. Right? Surprisingly, no. The more successful you get, the risk is bigger. And with bigger risk comes proportionately bigger rejections. The key is to learn how to handle the small rejections so that when the big one comes you can handle the ego-punch.
It’s not something that’s taught in schools. But I came across a way you can teach yourself. And I’m obsessed with the idea.
It’s called Rejection Therapy. Originating in Canada by Jason Comely, the entrepreneur Jia Jiang has adopted Comely’s principles and has found success with his blog-turned-book 100 Days of Rejection. He’s now on the TedxTalk circuit and working on the follow-up book, Rejection Proof.
Everyone in sales has heard the premise of “getting the no’s out of the way”. But this differs in that you are seeking out rejection intentionally, to learn how to respond, or better yet, negotiate to a yes. On his journey, Jiang tried all kinds of crazy ways to get a “no”. He only failed if he got a “yes”. He attempted to borrow $100 from a stranger, asked an airline if he could give the safety message and even asked a cop to let him pretend he was a policeman and take the wheel of the officer’s police cruiser. Can you guess which of these attempts got rejected?
Ready to Give it a Try? One of the beginner-therapy tasks that Comely lines out is the Coffee Challenge. It’s simple. Go into a coffee shop and ask for 10% discount. No punch card. No reason.
Now, note your reaction during the build-up to the ask. You’re basically asking for about $.40 off. As you wait in the line, are you calm? Does your heart rate stay even?
Or do your palms starting to sweat a little? A lot? Are you weighing which of the baristas is most approachable? Did you change lines because one of the employees looked stern? Does your mind start producing ideas why it’s not necessary? Are you trying to convince yourself not to try?
Rejection is tough to deal with for everyone. But it’s a crucial skill to master for those of us in sales.
Let me know if you do this or any other rejection therapy attempts. I love hearing from you!
***As an incentive, we're giving away a Entrepreneurs Edition of the Rejection Therapy card game. To enter to win, just leave a comment before October 1st 2016, telling us the last time you were rejected. Please give your email address so we can contact you. The Entrepreneurs Edition is a special SALES & MARKETING focused edition. Offer open to residents of Honolulu only.