Back when I went by Lil Rishi and before Mazza Man came to rescue me. I was just a bright eyed bushy tailed boy who used to dream about making the big sales, catching the ol’whales.
In my head the calls went the same every time...
Me: “Hello! Mr. Dangerz? This is Lil Rishi from Big Harpoon, I wanted to discuss with you your Harpoon decoration needs.”
Mr. Dangerz: “I’m okay for now.”
Me: “Oh I see. I found a form you filled out and wanted to check in to see if you had any questions.”
Mr. Dangerz: “I did, price seemed a little too much.”
Me: “Would if I brought that price down?”
Mr. Dangerz: “Well then get me the largest one you have in stock!”
The Milk and Cookie Rejection
Once I realized this was never the case and very rarely did this happen was like the moment I realized Santa wasn’t coming to eat my cookies and drink my milk Christmas eve 1997. At first it was a shock, but as I made my peace with it the easier it became. Rejection is a part of life, especially if the life you have chosen is that of a sales rep.
But dealing with rejection day in and day out, I am not like Judy Hopps, it gets tough. There isn’t any training to teach you how to deal with the pain of rejection/ Even my managers weren’t able to provide me any assistance, their only advice was to “not take it personally.'
I’m a human, I take everything personally. Last week my brother hung up the phone while I was in mid sentence and till this moment I still refuse to pick up his calls, even though he keeps texting me “I’m sorry, but my phone died…. my phone died!!!!”
I’m not falling for that old trick again, a great man once said:
“There's an old saying in Tennessee — I know it's in Texas, probably in Tennessee — that says, fool me once, shame on — shame on you. Fool me — you can't get fooled again.”
But as I started to do comedy, I noticed and slowly started to understand the principal of not letting failure get to me. Until the moment a good friend and mentor of mine came by and told me rejection is not something you want to get numb to, it’s supposed to help you get better.
Moment of Clarity
When we face rejection, we shouldn’t be phased by it, but we should be paying attention to it to allow us to truly see where we need to improve ourselves.
Once I heard that I realized there is more to rejection that meets the eye.
I went around and spoke with everyone I possibly could other comedians, sales reps, managers, anyone I could get advice from on how they emotionally handle rejection.
I boiled down their tips into 3 key points:
Reps see rejection as a sign of failure, but if you examine failure closely. A trend begins to form, if you see every great human achievements there was a backing of numerous failures.
Bruce Lee once stated: “Don't fear failure. — Not failure, but low aim, is the crime. In great attempts it is glorious even to fail.”
So failure isn’t something to be nervous about, it’s to be looked upon as a positive. The more times you fail the closer you are to succession.
In this same reasoning, rejection isn’t something to cherish, but it’s an answer. It also allows you to understand what went wrong and adjust. Each adjustment will bring you closer to your goal.
2. Realizing the Greats have Failed
This is a really profound moment. A lot of sales managers and successful performers have stated that once you realize everyone you have ever idolized has failed beyond belief, your goals become more clear.
Everything in life is never handed to you it’s earned, a lot of reps will start to feel bummed out after the 10th or 11th rejection for the day. This is natural to feel this way, but never question if this was what you were meant to do.
That thought went across my head everyday...everyday. But if you think about it some of our greatest minds and our greatest performers have also been doubted.
- Walt Disney was fired from his job because his editor said, he “lacked imagination and had no good ideas.”
- Oprah Winfrey was publicly fired from her first television job as an anchor in Baltimore for getting “too emotionally invested in her stories.”
- Thomas Edison’s teacher told him he was “too stupid to learn anything”
But their belief in themselves and constant learning from their failures is how they succeeded.
3. It’s Apart of your Journey
This more of a “uhh duh” concept, but it’s very important to truly understand.
Fearing the inevitable is silly. You look really silly, fearing something and letting it control your emotions... it’s silly. Once you understand embracing rejection, you become more emotionally prepared for it.
We all just want to be great at everything we put our mind to, but to truly be great means you are constantly improving - which means in your mind even if you get the sale there are improvements to be made.
See what we have embraced is consistency in the wrong sense.
It’s great to be consistent in making your sales, but it’s not great to be consistent in the way you sell. Every customer fits a certain ideal customer profile, but they are all different to some extent and once you are able to adapt to each of your customers then start to refine, but until then there is always room for improvement.
Embracing failure as much as success, but fearing consistency to some degree is where we need to head towards.
Finally, as a culture we need to stop caring what others think because no one is truly going to help you improve your sales. Has anyone consistently made sales for you and gave you credit? Probably not.
So as a good rule of thumb, to understand the only person you need to care about when it comes to your craft is yourself. Are you happy with where you are? Because until you are truly happy then nothing else matters.
Just trust yourself, your judgment. Find people who can be good mentors and don’t get discouraged from failure, it’s all apart of your growth and your journey. Learn from it and constantly adapt your style.
As a once great mind had previously stolen from my thoughts, “Think Different”.