Don’t take a ‘no’ personally

Rejection does come a fair bit in this industry, or any selling industry, but don’t take it personally.  Is that easier said than done?

Topic – When ‘no’ means ‘maybe

Mentor – Leanne Pilkington

  • Every no gets you closer to a yes
  • It is not about you
  • Don’t let them see your disappointment

Prop Tech with Joel Leslie – Coicio goes to Inman Connect.  Join us!


Kevin:   Well, as we build on not taking a no or what does a no really mean, or how do you work around it? When you’re doing a presentation or even if you’re out with a buyer, and they do say those words, “No,” or, “Leave it with us. We need to make a decision.”

Kevin:   Leanne Pilkington is joining me as our guest this week. Leanne is the Managing Director of the franchise group, Laing+Simmons and also president of the Real Estate Institute of New South Wales, brings with her 30 years of experience in the industry. So you’ve been down this path many times. Leanne, I guess one of the lessons that we have to learn, too, is that when we do get rejection, and rejection does come a fair bit in this industry or any selling industry, we’ve got to not take it personally.

Leanne:   Yep, absolutely. It’s a business response, right? If you were selling pizza and trying to sell pizza at 10:00 AM in the morning, would you take it personally if somebody said, “No, I’m not going to have pizza at 10:00 AM?”

Kevin:   No.

Leanne:   It’s like, “Not right now. It’s not what I need right now.” Yeah, you do have to accept it and it’s not about you.

Kevin:   Yeah, we’ve all heard the stories, haven’t we, about for every no that you get, you’re getting closer to a yes. So it’s another way of saying that your ability to handle failure and rejection in this industry is going to be in direct proportion to your success, because it’s just a part of the territory.

Leanne:   I just don’t think people should even consider no to be failure. It’s just the next step, and it’s the next step before another opportunity to have another conversation that might go down a different road.

Kevin:   Yes, of course, Leanne. The last thing you want to do when you’re in a presentation and someone has given you a bit of rejection is that you can demonstrate to them that you’re taking it personally. That’s the worst thing you can do.

Leanne:   Absolutely, because you don’t want to give an emotional response in that situation, because like I said before, it’s not about you. This is about your potential client’s needs, what they need out of you and out of this current situation or negotiation, whatever it is. It’s not about you. It’s not personal, and you should not be getting emotional or having an emotional response about it.

Kevin:   Yeah. That is such a very good point, too, and I think sometimes we tend to look at, when we get to do a presentation, is every chance we don’t even know these people. They don’t know us very well, and this is not a matter of speed dating, is it?

Leanne:   No, it’s absolutely not. As you said when we first started chatting on Monday, it’s something that people only do a couple of times in their life. Usually, it’s their most valuable asset, but it’s also their most emotion charged asset as well. It’s where they’ve brought up their children. It’s where they’ve made so many memories over the years, so we need to accept that.

Kevin:   Yeah, and we need to accept, too, that the two people in this transaction, maybe the two people who own the property, are at different emotional levels. One may be quite happy to move on. The other one might be very attached to the property.

Leanne:   Yup, that’s very true, and you do need to be able to read people very well to be in any kind of sales game, but in real estate in particular, and different people need different communication styles from you. Some people need you to be very direct, very analytical and very focused on the numbers. Then other people, even in the same couple, may need you to be a little bit more emotional and just approach things in a softer way. So it can be a little bit tricky to manage everybody’s needs.

Kevin:   Great stuff. Leanne Pilkington, back again tomorrow. Thanks Leanne.

Leanne:   Thanks for having me, Kevin.

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