Roll with the punches!

rockyCan you roll with the punches? My coaching client didn’t think he could take any more. He’d been avoiding a critical call because he already knew the answer would be “no” and he was stressed about his situation.

Before I started coaching him, my client felt stretched thin and a bit desperate. He was working as hard as he could on his business but nothing seemed to be going his way. Things were tough and the business was taking its toll on him physically, financially, and emotionally. He had gained weight, lost sleep, was having no fun, and he was especially worried his financial situation was getting critical.

When he called me that day for coaching on how to handle a critical negotiation, he was looking for some leverage. He wanted some way to force the other side to give in to what he needed. But, he expected the conversation to end in “no,” and he was already upset.

Very often, when people tell us “no” we get upset, or frustrated, and we take it personally. We hear them saying “no” to us, and not just “no” to our proposal. A “no” gets a strong emotional response that gets bigger with the importance of the request.

But the truth is that rejection, or, hearing “no” is part of the process of business and life. And if you want to get past the “no,” you have to be able to stay loose and roll with the punches. Especially when you are desperate for “yes” on something that really matters.

By this, I mean that you have to be comfortable with “no.” It can’t be a fear that stops you from asking for big things or shuts you down after the first rejection. What would it be like if hearing “no” actually got easy for you?

Hearing “no” can get much easier. You see, after the final “no” comes a “maybe,” or a “yes.”  You’ve got to get all those “no’s” out of the way before you can get to the yeses. You may still have an emotional reaction to “no,” but you need to be able to set that reaction aside and keep at it.

When my client called me worried about his big proposal, I suggested that we spend some time getting comfortable with the “no.” I told him that we should practice the conversation, and to be prepared because I was going to say “no” to everything. His main job was to really listen to the reasons I was saying “no.” He had to work on being clear, letting go of his own emotional reactions, and listening for why I was saying “no.”

The “no’s” in our exercise were still a little upsetting for him, even in practice, but far less so than they would have been in real life. I played with all of the reasons the other person might say “no,” and I let him get comfortable hearing them all. He soon stopped having a strong emotional reaction to the word “no.” It became just a word, a part of the process. He could remember through it all what was important to him and what mattered to the other person.

The next day, he called and made his pitch. He felt comfortable and was ready for anything, even “no.” He knew the objections coming his way, and he wasn’t scared of them. In fact, he felt bold and confident.

He spent about ten of fifteen minutes on the phone, and guess what?

Well, at first he got “no.” But then, he heard “yes”… to the tune of more than $35,000 which landed straight in my client’s pocket. That’s a pretty good return on a 15 minute coaching call.

Here’s three simple steps you can take to have an explosion of yeses in the next week:

  1. Pick the biggest thing you need now that you are certain you can’t get. Think of all the reasons and ways that you expect to hear “no.”
  2. Practice by asking for it, using a friend to play the other person if you can. Listen to and embrace all their reasons for saying “no.”  Keep asking for it, and keep  embracing the rejection, for 5-10 minutes. Notice your emotional reaction and let it go. Practice until you are able to hear “no” and are able to keep asking for what you want.
  3. Now, go out and ask for at least TWO, or more, really big and important things EVERY DAY this week. Just keep asking for what you need and rolling with the punches.

“No’s” often come before the “yeses,” just remember that “no” is sometimes part of the process. It’s not forever. “No” is not personal and it doesn’t have to be the last word.

Now, here’s my big ask of you the week: Do this work this week, and produce miracles in your business and your life, right now. It would make my day to hear what happens!


Bill GallagherBreakthrough Coach

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