When hearing "no" becomes part of a daily routine that also brings you success and puts you closer to your goals, then it just gets easier. And then it gets downright enjoyable. That's easier said than done, but there's some strategies you can put in place to train your brain to get used to rejection.
1. Accept It.
From today on, rejection is how things go. On bad nights you'll have rejection. On good nights you'll have it, and on great nights you'll definitely have it. Establishing that it is an essential part of the job and not a rarity or an accident can make it a lot easier to process.
There's lots of different ways to prepare, but using your imagination is by far one of the most efficient because it will place you in the moment before you ever have to go through it, and put you in control of your response to rejection.
Remind yourself daily before you go in that you will hear many no's. Imagine yourself being told "no" by customers in different ways. And then imagine the ways you'll turn those no's into yeses.
2. Prepare for it.
If you know they're coming, make it your job to have great answers to the types of rejection you hear the most. If you take the time to drill, practice, and make your responses sound natural, you'll stand out from your competition and be far more likely to change the original response of your customers.
3. Keep Records & Find your Win Ratio.
The next exercise relies on the premise of building a pipeline. While you can find a more thorough understanding of what that means in the sales world here, I've broken it down a bit more to fit the parameters of dancing.
Let's start with how most dancers think about getting sales.
It looks something like this:
You might be thinking that looks about right, and if you are extremely lucky the first few times you interact with customers that might just be how it goes.
But there's a crucial part missing in this outline: the part where you get rejected.
And without including that it your model of what dancing is supposed to be, you will always continue to get spanked around when you hear the first no of the night.
This is because a profitable night of dancing usually looks much closer to this:
In order to get to the great customers, you usually have to go through a lot of duds. You may interact with someone for 15 minutes before they tell you they have no interest in buying from you. You may give an awesome dance and be told that your customer doesn't want to go to a private room tonight. You may be told in no uncertain terms that your company is not wanted. But all of those are OK; they're what get you one step closer to that ideal customer that wants to make your night amazing.
The problem is that most dancers give up after the first few no's, or after the first few difficult interactions. They get discouraged, or they get upset. They get bored and run upstairs to text their friends or waste time on social media. It's a hard habit to break, but when you begin to push through these unpleasant interactions more and stay on the floor longer, you create opportunities for quality interactions. That's the name of the game.
So, how do you restructure your thinking around this?
This exercise centers around giving you a concrete reason to keep moving past the rejection.
First, find an easy way to track how many "no's" you hear every night. Every time you hear no, make a mental note and then jot it down in your phone or a small notebook. Also make a mark when you get a sale, in a different column. Now practice keeping track of this until it becomes second nature. As soon as someone says no, thank them for their time, move along, and make a tally.
Then keep selling.
It may sound ridiculous to do at first, but this tool will give you a visual aid for how your nights are playing out, and if you keep accurate track of your night you can start to collect really important information.
For example, how many no's do you have to hear, on average, before selling a dance?
What about a private room?
How many no's do you usually hear, on average, before achieving your financial goals for the night? What about for the week?
Getting some information on this makes rejection impersonal. Instead, it becomes a step along the way to your success, and it helps you push through the difficult times. If you know that you usually hear 20 no's before getting a yes for a VIP room, when Rejection #5 tells you to go away before you got to introduce yourself, you can make your tally, remain grateful that they didn't waste any of your time, and then move on to #6 and #7, etc.
Once you do this for a little bit, it's likely that you won't even need to keep a running tally to push yourself through a shift. Once you can take rejection with positivity and keep moving, then it doesn't really matter how many no's you hear. You'll only focus on the "yes" that's waiting for you.