As a professional, you’re undoubtedly used to rejection. It’s the reason why you choose to work in a field that is known for having its fair share of rejections. Even if you have the best of intentions, there will be days when you feel like your client isn’t taking your job seriously. On top of that, some clients just aren’t cut out for real-life consulting. In fact, they are too emotional and irrational to pay attention to advice from an expert. When this happens, it’s important to know how to handle rejection with grace and not allow others (or yourself) get frustrated by it. The first step towards handling rejection is understanding where it comes from.
What Causes Rejection?
There are a lot of reasons why a client might not hire you. Some common reasons include:
– Budget doesn’t allow it
– The client isn’t ready to hire a consultant yet
– The client is waiting for their manager’s approval
– The client simply isn’t interested in your services
– Recruiters are doing a better job of finding candidates for the client
– The client just doesn’t want to hire anyone
– The client is having a difficult time making decisions
– The client just isn’t inspired enough by your services
How to Handle Rejection Effectively
At any point in your career, you will experience rejection. No one is exempt. That said, the way you handle it can have a large impact on both your happiness and your career. One of the biggest mistakes consultants make is letting rejection turn them into a victim. There’s nothing wrong with being upset when a client turns you down, but try to stay in control of your emotions. Having a difficult time accepting that there are people out there who don’t want your help is completely normal, but it’s also completely avoidable. So, how should you handle it? Here are a few suggestions:
– Stay in control of your emotions – If you react to rejection by becoming angry, frustrated, or discouraged, you will only blame yourself for the situation. No one can be mad at you for being turned down. If you allow others to get you upset, you will never be able to relax and accept the reality of the situation.
– Always remain professional – It’s important to maintain a friendly, professional demeanor while you’re working with a client. While you may want to tear the client a new one for turning you down, you need to remain respectful so that you can get the job done and move on to the next client.
– Keep a positive attitude – It’s important to remember that you aren’t alone. A surprising number of people have experienced rejections.
– Try to find the silver lining in the rejection – Is there something good that came out of the rejection? If so, make sure to let the client know. Say something like, “I really appreciate how you value your time.”
Be Polite and Specific
One of the biggest mistakes consultants make is being rude or hasty when answering clients who have turned them down. You need to be polite, but you also need to be specific. While it’s certainly preferable to work with your client, you need to let them know that you’re not interested in continuing the discussion. Let’s say you meet with a potential client who wants to know more about your consulting business. You can say something like, “Thank you for sharing your ideas with me. I’m sorry, but I’m not interested in working with people who have hired other consultants in the past.”
Don’t Take It Personally
Another common misstep consultants make is taking their rejection personally. When you find yourself falling into this trap, it’s important to remember that you aren’t the only person who has been rejected. The world is a huge place, full of millions of people, many of whom aren’t interested in hiring you. The best way to combat this is to remember: You did everything you could to make the client interested in hiring you. You researched their industry, you prepared for the meeting, you were polite, you were specific, you were enthusiastic—the client still turned you down! Their loss is not your gain.
Take a Break and Come Back Later
Another common mistake consultants make is letting rejection get them down. It’s normal to feel disappointed after a client turns you down, but try to stay positive. You can’t get anywhere by constantly dwelling on the negative. There’s a big difference between taking a break from a project and getting discouraged. You can take a break to calm down and prevent yourself from getting too upset by the rejection. When you feel like you’ve let rejection get to you, try scheduling a break. This could be a walk outside, a nap, a phone call with a loved one, anything to give yourself a moment to collect yourself.
Hiring a consultant is a big step for your business. It may be tempting to become discouraged if you aren’t getting the results you want from the process. Remember, it takes a lot of perseverance to find the right people to hire, and you may have to go through many rejections before you find someone suitable. You can avoid getting discouraged by remembering that it takes a lot of perseverance to find the right people to hire and that you will go through many rejections before you find someone suitable. If all else fails, ask your boss for a referral. In the end, you can make it through every rejection if you have the right attitude. There will be plenty of rejections in your career, so make sure you are prepared to handle them with grace.