If you fear rejection — during telephone conversations or when you ask for a sale — you may want to take a lesson from Chinese-American entrepreneur Jia Jiang.
Jiang’s fear of rejection was so strong it almost cost him his dream of creating his own company. But then he found a website that touted the benefits of “rejection therapy.”
I was intrigued. Although I had never heard of rejection therapy, I had taken to challenging attendees of my workshops to ask for things they were sure would be denied to them.
After one of my Manhattan workshops, two attendees from the Midwest went to a bar together and asked the bartender to give them free drinks. They told the bartender that this was their first visit to New York and that they wanted to make sure the drinks were good.
To their surprise (they had assumed the answer would be no), the bartender gave them their drinks for free — although he did make it clear that would be allowed just one each.
The next day, they excitedly shared their success with our group, and the point was made clear:
Ask! You might just get what you want.
I was curious about the website Jiang had visited and wondered if rejection therapy was anything like what I was doing in my workshops. It turns out that Canadian Jason Comely is the founder of rejectiontherapy.com. Comely’s only rule for this real-life game is that you must be rejected by someone at least once a day. Please note: Comely does not say you must try to be rejected; you need to succeed. In this game, rejection is the goal.
In the course of his rejection therapy, Jiang asked a police officer if he could drive his police car and a pilot if he could fly his small plane. To his utter amazement, both let him do it — all because he asked. In fact, in my workshops, many of my attendees’ outlandish requests have been granted. Some admitted they found it difficult to find anyone to say no to them.
If you find it difficult to ask for appointments, referrals or sales because you’re afraid of being rejected, spend 100 days playing the rejection-therapy game. You’ll learn the lesson that Jiang did: It’s OK if someone says no — it’s not the end of the world. And, more important, you might just end up having your wishes granted.
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Sandy Schussel is a speaker, business trainer and coach who helps sales teams develop systems to win clients. He is the author of The High Diving Board and Become a Client Magnet. For more information, go to www.sandyschussel.com.