Has client rejection got you down? Learn to make it all OK

By Sandy Schussel

Sandy Schussel, LLC


When a client or prospective client says “no”, it’s just someone exercising a choice. That single reaction (or several of them in a day) might result in you feeling rejected, frustrated or depressed. These feelings, however, come not from the act of someone saying no to you, but from what we think no means.

Author Steve Chandler reminds his students and clients that we don’t react to what’s happening in the world; we react to our thoughts about what’s happening.

When the Red Sox are playing the Yankees and Mike Aviles knocks in two runs in the eighth inning to pull the Sox ahead, Sox fans are elated and Yankees fans are not feeling OK.

Objectively, the event itself is neutral — a player gets a hit and two runs are scored. But how we each feel about the event depends on our thoughts on what it means.

A dark room is just a dark room. Only our thoughts about it give the darkness significance. As a little boy, I would never look into a mirror in a dark room, due to my terror about what monsters, ghosts or demons I might see there looking back at me. When I became a little older, my attitude shifted; I began to play a game in the unlit rooms of my home, trying to learn the locations of furniture and other objects so that I wouldn’t need to turn on the lights. (I have to admit that I still play this game sometimes, and it gives me an ever-greater appreciation for people without their eyesight who don’t have a choice in the matter.)

For the majority of skeptical adults, a dark room is just an inconvenience that requires a light switch. When a client or prospective client says “no”, it’s just someone exercising a choice. That single reaction (or several of them in a day) might result in you feeling rejected, frustrated or depressed. It could lead you to think that you are no good at selling, enrolling, or engaging new clients, or that no one wants what you have to offer. These feelings, however, come not from the act of someone saying no to you, but from what we think no means.

Try this experiment: Spend your next week saying no to as many offers as you can — from anyone. “Do you want to go to the movies?” No. “Would you like a sandwich?” No. See if you can’t come to see “no” as a simple choice. Then, make some calls with the perspective that no is as fine a choice as is yes.

Outcome dependency is a subjective setting that you are free to check and change.