We all know rejection is just part and parcel of being a recruiter, but that doesn’t make it any easier when a prospect turns you down. So, what can you do with your recruitment sales rejections to turn them into something positive, or better still – an opportunity?
If you really want to succeed in business development, you need to start thinking about what you can do to turn your rejections into something that will help you get closer to reaching your goals. Here’s some food for thought...
Embracing rejection brings more success
Fear of rejection only gets in the way of success, so by embracing it, you’re actually setting yourself up better to succeed. Not convinced? Just think about it: If you’re constantly worrying about being turned down when approaching a prospect, you’ll procrastinate to avoid making any difficult calls, and this will inevitably make you much less productive.
Embracing rejection will only increase your productivity – there’s a lot to be said for losing like a winner!
Rejection can build bridges for the future
Bad losers leave a terrible taste in your mouth – it’s those who take rejection gracefully who will be respected, and remembered.
If you’re feeling disappointed that a prospect decided to go with a competitor over you for a retainer, because you truly believe your agency was a perfect fit, perk up – if it’s as good a match as you think it is, they will come back to you in the future.
If you use this opportunity to show you weren’t only in it to win it so you hit your targets, you’ll be top of the list the next time another opportunity arises with the client. Rejections like this can genuinely build bridges with prospects, so don’t burn them by taking things too personally.
Rejections can be opportunities
One thing that softens the blow of rejection in recruitment sales is that things move incredibly fast, meaning a rejection can easily turn around into a contract just when you least expect it!
For this reason, it’s important to keep those prospects who've turned you down this time round nice and warm (and easily searchable in your database!) so you can go back to them when the time is right.
When doing this, lead with an interesting point that aligns well with the challenges you uncovered during your previous discussions to remind them of your value. And by that point, you’ve already laid the majority of the groundwork in trying to win them over, so a well-handled rejection can even be seen as a smokin’ hot lead!
You can learn a lot from a rejection
Rejections are invaluable as they can provide us with much deeper insights than those we gain from our successes. Provided you can see why you were rejected, what can you learn from this? And what changes can you make in moving forward?
Is your pitch too long? Were you struggling to demonstrate just how adept your agency would be to support the prospect’s hiring challenge? This is your opportunity to ensure you never make the same mistake twice: Ask for feedback on where you went wrong and use it to continuously improve your pitch. In time, you should notice that prospects find you increasingly harder to refuse.
Rejections challenge you to up your game
Rejection conjures up emotional energy that will undoubdtedly be negative initially, but the good news is you can recycle this energy boost into positive motivation for the next challenge.
Think of it like getting an unexpected ‘F’ in an exam when you know you’re a straight-A student, our rejections can give us the motivation we need to push ourselves to the very best of our ability. So take that rejection, accept it as a challenge, and you're sure to increase your billing as a result!
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Cameron McLennan works within recruitment technology industry. Outside of work, he loves spending time with his family and playing golf.