You may not know this or even have taken time to think about it, but the number one reason why so many people fail to grow their client base is the very real fear of the little word "NO".
Think about it, this word has a history of not having a good experience behind it. It was the one word that had the power to make or break your day, from the small kid who wants a sweet before dinner, to the teenager who wants to go to the party of the year. The word no had the power to evoke a huge emotional response that could result in the feeling that life would never be the same again.
Now the word no is only but a word in and of itself, however, what needs to be examined is our relationship with it, and what meaning we assign to it.
As children, our lives were run by adults. They were positioned above us, and they had the power to give and take away.
We would soon learn how to avoid the word no, by employing tactics that would ensure we get what we want. As children, this would come in the form of doing things in secret. There is no better example to illustrate this than the teenager who is desperate to go to a party, they know their parents will say no to it. Mission impossible is birthed, and a cover story is created which comes in the form of an innocent sleepover at a 'friend'.
When we start to perceive a no, we will start to make decisions that will avoid it at any cost. The suppressed memories of how the word no brought on feelings of fear, dread, hurt, disappointment, rejection, and tears are ever-present.
As part of our human conditioning, we learn what causes pain and we soon learn to avoid it. The lessons that pain offers are invaluable and it is our number one teacher however, we need to know the difference between good pain and bad pain. For instance, placing your hand on a hot plate is bad pain, this could seriously harm you and damage your hand. If you are unable to use your hand because of injury, in the law of nature, you are no longer at your fittest, and as we know in nature only the strongest survive. It makes sense that one would then avoid putting their hand on a hot plate to ensure their fitness and preserve it.
On the other hand (excuse the pun), the pain we avoid that does not diminish our survival is what we need to look out for. The word no does not have the power to threaten your survival, it is merely the memory of the feelings you experienced in the past that has more power than anything else. Of course, it is natural to get upset as a teenager for not being allowed to go to a party, especially when at that moment you are certain that party will go a long way to ensuring your social status and your sense of being a part of and belonging. There is nothing quite worse for a teenager to sit in a circle of friends who are all talking about Saturday night and you are not able to contribute to it, talk about feeling left out in the cold. For that teenager, that party seems like it is a life or death situation, when in fact it’s not at all.
The key word here is perceived. The word no can bring on a perceived threat of life or death. The very word perceived suggests that the threat is not real, not rooted in good old-fashioned solid facts.
Will I die if I don't have a sweet or go to that party? If one looks at the cold hard fact, the answer is no. Will you feel discomfort and disappointment? Absolute yes.
Somewhere from your first uncomfortable experience of no to this moment, the belief that the experience of negative emotions is cause for a fight or flight response, in other words, if I perceive I will feel an uncomfortable feeling I might die. This may sound completely absurd, however, it is the truth, because if it were not, then why do so many people in the world of sales avoid going to that client and asking for business? The reality is on a deep subconscious level they believe if the answer is no, they might die, and since we are hard-wired for survival, we will at all costs make decisions to ensure it.
So the trick here is to redefine our relationship with no, and simply put, create a new belief around it, and that is one of, "I will not die, if someone says no." If someone says no, it's a blessing, they set you free to move on to the next person and you prove to yourself that their no has not harmed you but helped you.
Take some time to think about your relationship with the word no. Look at the areas in your life where it holds you back the most. Bring into the light the perceived threat, and ask if that threat has the potential to kill you. If the answer is no, then there is no reason on earth not to try. Maybe you don't land that client, but getting that client is not the prize, but rather the healthy relationship you start to build with the word no. That relationship will ensure your survival in ways you did not know were possible. The world is full of no's but equally, it is full of yes' too and our journey is about finding the yes and, this is a fact, to get to the yes, we must move through the no’s. We must stop treating them as stop signs and see them as a natural and very normal part of the landscape of life.
The beauty of being human is that we can at any time change how we view things, we can see things from multiple angles, we just got to be willing to open our minds to other possibilities, and those possibilities start within us first, before we can ever transform them into our reality.