In any job, you need sales skills – whether that means selling a product, convincing others of your ideas, or simply proving your own value to a project. It’s important you be able to “get to yes,” and bring others into alignment with what you want. But sometimes, the fear of hearing “no” stops us from asking.
Consider prolific author Stephen King’s experience: “By the time I was fourteen the nail in my wall would no longer support the weight of the rejection slips impaled upon it. I replaced the nail with a spike and went on writing.”
Comfort with rejection is an essential component of influence and impact. To cultivate your rejection resilience, start with no-stakes asks. Try asking…
- A classmate to give you a piece of gum, a pen, a piece of paper
- Friends, family, and strangers to donate to a club or cause you care about
- Salespeople to give you a discount when there is no sale happening
See how comfortable you can get hearing “no,” when the stakes are very low, and then work your way up to more important requests, like asking…
- A professor to improve your grade on a paper if you do some additional research,
- A manager to give you a little extra training, or
- A club member to step up and lead a project.
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