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?