Getting Over No

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Getting Over No

How Working For a B2B Marketing Firm Helped Me Get Over the Fear of “No”

Getting Over No: How to Get Over the Fear of No

Two weeks after I graduated from college, I had my first “real life” job. I was a campaign representative for an Atlanta marketing firm. My job was to increase awareness for our clients in a multitude of territories. We offered hugely discounted rewards, coupons, and savings to our customers that were provided by our clients to help drive sales. Two things I enjoyed about the job when I first started was the huge paychecks. Nothing says, “I’ve made it” like getting a thousand dollar check fresh out of college for one week of work.

The second thing I enjoyed was our morning meetings. If you’ve ever seen The Wolf of Wall Street starring Leonardo DiCaprio and how crazy and rambunctious they were in their “motivational” meetings, then you kind of have an idea of what our morning meetings were like. We’d start the day off with chants, freestyles, raps, really loud intro music, and even dancing! I LOVED that energy which became extremely useful when I had to spend 8 hours in the field (read: da streets) in a three piece suit.

Confidence: Walk into a place like you own it

My job was to go business to business and peddle my 90% savings for XYZ Company. One of the first things they teach you is about your confidence. When you go into an establishment in which you have to get past a gatekeeper (secretary, security, or administrative assistant), you have to walk up into the place like you own it. If you walk in with the confidence that you belong there, no one will question whether or not your should be. They also taught us to talk to everyone like the person that they are. Whether you were talking to the multi-million dollar CEO of the business or the janitor, you should have the confidence to speak to each of them as if they are on the same playing field.

Now because of my experiences at this job, I walk into every establishment as if I own it. I may not now be selling goods for others per se, but I have the confidence to walk into any building, meeting, or event as if I got it going on! PLUS I have no problem talking to investors, successful entrepreneurs, or high profile clients about what I want from them.

Persistence. No means “maybe, convince me better this time.”

Persistence equals success

If you’ve ever worked a marketing job that involves hard sales, you’ll learn about rebuttals. Rebuttals are the responses a salesperson gives when a potential customer tells them no. We are taught that every no is a step closer to a yes, so when someone tells you no…you don’t have to take it at face value. In our job, we had to give a minimum of 3 rebuttals before we could pass on the sale.

Even though as a customer it’s extremely annoying to have to constantly tell people no because they don’t listen and this is usually the time when people get really pissed off, cuss you out, and/or hang up on you…sorry folks, we’re just doing our jobs! Learning how to properly rebut a “no” taught me a lot about persistence.

Normally when we hear the word “no” in our attempts to be successful at our dreams, we give up and move on, feeling almost defeated. What no means to the marketer is “maybe, tell me more.” Now as an entrepreneur when I hear “no,” “not right now,” or “maybe later” it’s my opportunity to make my second attempt that much more convincing. Whether I am proposing an experience or negotiating a fee for my clients, no doesn’t chase me away…it fuels me.

Reward. It really is the little things that makes the biggest difference

You remember that experiment with Pavlov and the dogs? The one in which he would ring a bell before presenting a treat to the dogs to the point that when the bell was rung, the dogs salivated at the THOUGHT of the impending reward?

At my job, when we came back from the field, we were rewarded in the most unconventional of ways. If you sold at least 50% of your “merch,” you got the opportunity to ring a bell in front of the entire company and get your name dropped at the next morning meeting. If you sold all of your merch, you got to chime a huge gong and speak at the next morning meeting. I know…it’s stupid and a little cult like, but it worked. Every day, I went out to the field, I did so with the expectation that I would at least be ringing that bell because I wanted recognition. A gesture as small as ringing a bell became a powerful driving force for me in the field especially on days I really really didn’t want to be there.

Now when everything depends on me: the business, the clientele, the sales, the marketing, etc, small gestures that I take reward in include¬†my mentor saying “Good job” or my interns giving me props and smiling faces. It makes me that much more excited to continue working hard even on days where I would much rather sleep in and binge watch The X Files on Netflix. In life, it’s the little things that truly make a big difference in our lives.

Gustave Flaubert quote about persistence and challenges

That job definitely goes down in my history as one of my least favorite but most educational jobs I’ve ever had. Although I’m not a “hard sales” person because I just don’t really care if you want this coupon or not, it taught me so much that I still use to this day and could be credited with my success as a business owner now. It not only taught me the confidence to look people in the eye and market myself well, it taught me the persistence to not take no at face value, but most importantly it taught me that every small gesture towards my goal was a reward in itself.

What is one thing you learned from your previous work experiences? Let us know!

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