Dear J.T. & Dale: An airline had me in for an interview and said they would get back to me in two weeks. After the two weeks, I followed up multiple times with no response. After three months, I gave up. Ten months after my interview, I received an e-mail saying ‘No thanks.’ Gee, what a surprise! I understand that companies may be stretched, but a brief call or note would leave the candidate with a smattering of self-confidence and without a bad feeling about the offending company. – Carolyn
DALE: J.T. has on her tough-love face. Steel yourself, Carolyn.
J.T.: I do understand your frustration, but your last sentence frustrates me – “a smattering of self-confidence“? Let me ask you this: When you shop for a major appliance or a car, you probably visit several companies. Do you contact every salesperson you met with to say you didn’t choose their product? No. And yet, how would you feel if you heard they were offended that you didn’t follow up and that their self-confidence was shot because of you?
I would argue that your gut response would be: “They’re in sales. They should be able to handle rejection.” Well, you are a business-of-one, and you are selling a company on your services. It’s not their job to make you feel better. In fact, turning you down by calling you won’t make you feel better. You’ll still feel rejected. The solution lies in not taking it personally.
DALE: “Don’t take it personally” is right up there with “don’t worry,” “cut out sweets,” and “just don’t look” as perfectly good advice that is almost impossible to implement. It’s impossible to implement because it suggests that you not do what is natural and automatic. The way out is to give your mind something else to occupy it. In the case of skilled salespeople not taking rejection personally, they do two things: First, they ask themselves questions like, “What can I learn from this?” and “How can I get better?” Next, they get right back to selling, moving on to the next prospect.
J.T.: They know that with every rejection, they are one step closer to making the deal. They don’t stop. They try and try, and then try again.
DALE: It’s important to note that they have lots of other things to try; that is, they have dozens of prospects in various stages of the sales pipeline. You, Carolyn, need to be so busy working on your other job prospects that you don’t give yourself time to get angry and frustrated because you didn’t get a rejection letter. Here’s the mind-set to strive for: “Their loss. I’m moving on. I’m too busy to take it personally.”
Feel free to send questions to J.T. and Dale via e-mail at [email protected] or write to them in care of King Features Syndicate, 300 W. 57th Street, 15th Floor, New York, NY 10019.
© 2012 by King Features Syndicate, Inc.
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