Entrepreneurship: Persistence Is The Name Of The Game

by Demetri Demascus

No one wants to hear it. Getting turned down hurts. Sometimes there is just no explanation. Imagine chasing your dream only to hit a dead end. All that time you spent preparing amounts to nothing. Whether it is getting your product line into a store, securing a venue for an event or signing a contract to offer a service, life and entrepreneurship is hard.

For entrepreneurs, rejection also sparks a desire to change that “no” to a “yes.” A “no” is not permanent, but rather, it is just a “not at this time.” Knowing how to get that “yes” response is a key amongst the most successful entrepreneurs. Follow these tips and you will be on your way to entrepreneurial stardom.

When someone tells you “no” in entrepreneurship, the first step is to sit back and think about why they said no. Are your products not ready or can you not meet their demands? Have you not done enough marketing to get into a big box retailer? Did someone undercut your pricing or quality for a service you offer? Maybe they just are not expanding in your industry at that time.

Finding out why is the first step. The next step is improving upon what went wrong. Make sure that next time you approach them, you have everything properly prepared. There is no reason that you should not be able to cultivate your relationship with them and turn that “no” into a “yes.”

An example that stands out came when I was launching my skincare company, Game Day. Skincare, for both men and women, is a hyper-competitive industry, and it is so hard to get people to put products on their faces. Everyone claims they have sensitive skin. Due to this, I knew that I had to provide something to an initial distributor in order to get the ball rolling and hopefully acquire others.

I started by offering free samples for distributors to include in their orders to get their existing clients interested in the products. I then sent those distributors a small initial set of inventory and the files needed for their sites. The products sold fast with great feedback, allowing me to have successfully turned a “no” into a purchase order.

Persistence is the name of the game in entrepreneurship. Those that do not push will never achieve. You simply cannot give in. The first step towards achievement is getting your work in front of the decision makers. Have you ever seen “Wall Street” where Charlie Sheen sends Gordon Gekko a box of his favorite cigars on his birthday? That is what I am talking about here. Make sure that you are in front of the proper people and they recognize you. If not, you are just another fish in the ocean.

You need to stand out in a way that no one else is. Why do they want to do business with you? If someone says no three times for various reasons, and you are still there pushing, you will have their attention and you will ultimately be able to do business with them. Give some time in between pushing your investors, though. Make sure that you are not bugging them. Prove to them through your persistence that you want something, you will not go away, and you have the diligence to prove to them why they should do business with you.

One of the basic ways of achieving a goal is to pick one area to attack and expand from there. A fellow entrepreneur was starting a lacrosse stick company and knew that if he wanted to be successful, he needed to get into only one of the big online lacrosse stores. After consecutive rejections, he finally broke through on one of his targets, and it resulted in every store needing to carry his products in order to meet the new demand. While all of the stores initially turned him down multiple times, he was able to break through on all of them by being persistent and proving that he could deliver.

Just because you are turned down once, don’t be discouraged. Through hard work and perseverance, you will achieve your goals. You simply cannot let anyone get in your way. Just keep trying, be persistent and chase your goals. Use your creative knowledge to build relationships and open new doors. Remember, every product you see and every successful service available on the market had to open doors to get off the ground and finally launch. Those who do not power through fail. Those that persevere succeed.

Top photo courtesy Window Of Opportunity