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Handling Rejection – A Few Tips For Small Business

Handling Rejection – A Few Tips For Small Business

As builders, we are called on several times a week to provide home owners and clients looking to build new homes, a quote for their proposed works and with an approximate 60% conversion rate, we have had to learn how to handle the rejection. Not specific to construction, handling rejection is an extremely important business tool that we are rarely taught. There are not too many businesses that done rely on repeat sales, and if you have upset a potential client, they are never going to give you a second chance.

Handling rejection is actually one of the simplest things you can do. First of all, you need to take the rejection. If it is being delivered in person, it is important to ensure that you keep a neutral face. It is very ok to ask some questions around why you have not been chosen but do not become combative or argumentative. Remember that the potential client has already made a decision and it is very unlikely you will change their mind.

Secondly, I absolutely recommend asking for some feedback, that is if you are strong enough to take the feedback when offered. The only way to learn, is to ask. Often the reason for rejection, will be totally different to what you might assume.

Lastly, always thank the person for letting you know and wish them well. Business is just that, business. The potential client needs to make a decision that makes sense for them. It is a great sign of respect that they have told you they have chosen someone else, and if you wish to have a chance at the next job this client might have, or to be reflected on well in their social circles, take the time to say thank you. Thank you for the feedback, and I wish you every success with your project.

On several occasions, we have been contacted by a client that previously rejected us, and ended up winning the job. In each of these cases, the client had chosen on price, and come to realise that the ‘competition’ was not right for them, and they preferred to engage the person they had the best rapport with. These jobs would have been lost altogether if not for taking the time to say thank you and good luck.

Recently I have been on the giving end of rejection, and I can say that the reception has been so poor, it has not only confirmed why I did not choose that business, but will stop me from potentially engaging them at another time.

Do you think your small business is good at handling rejection? Have you been on the receiving end of poor handling of rejection?

Nicole xxx

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  1. I totally agree with your post. As a customer feeling like the business has listened to your feedback even when you are rejecting them is so important. How graciously they handle it is definitely a factor in whether I would consider using that business again in the future.

    I once had a business get quite aggressive with me when I rejected them, to the point I was actually starting to fear for my safety. I was so glad I had rejected them and unfortunately for the business I actually warned several of my friends and colleagues to avoid that company at all cost!


  2. Rejection is important to manage. Some door to door person started telling my husband off the other week when he said he wasn’t interested in talking to them about electricity prices – and the sales guy started complaining at him for that! I thought it was so arrogant to demand we talk about bills to a stranger and justify our choices. Um…no.

    So from a business side, I think it’s great when customers come back and tell you that they haven’t chosen you. It’s a good thing and a sign of a positive relationship.

  3. Every no is one step forward to the next yes. I think rejection can be at times hard to take – especially if you wanted that job or NEEDED that job to keep things afloat. I think one of the most important things to remember when you get a lot of rejections is to remain positive, see if you can think outside the square with your quoting and keep trying again. – ie keep quoting.

  4. It’s difficult but rejection handled with good grace leaves an excellent impression, I believe!

  5. Such good tips… As usual! As hard as rejection is to take, the feedback can be super valuable!

  6. Rejection can be hard and can hurt, but you must always be courteous and polite and not take offense. Instead use it as a learning opportunity ? What a silly business that was that reacted badly to your rejection.

  7. It is hard to accept rejection when you believe you have put all you wanted into an application or a quote. However, I can say that learning from this is probably the best lesson yet. I was ‘not successful’ in a number of job interviews for the role of principal back in 1998 and I sought feedback. From that feedback, some hard to listen to I admit, I then refined my responses to questions and to how I would add value to the school I was applying for. Taking that into consideration and relaxing some of the ways in which I believed I had to appear (i.e. not wearing my glasses when I needed to read something was vanity-based, so I put the glasses on next time!!) and I got the next job. Thanks for a very good topic! Denyse x

  8. Great tips here Nicole. I agree that while rejection can hurt, it’s important to use any feedback received as a learning then keep on quoting jobs as they come in knowing you are providing a professional service. I also agree that it’s important not to always choose something just on price, the quality of past service and many other factors also need to be taken into account … sometimes it’s very true that you get what you pay for.

    1. Visiting from #teamIBOT

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