Episode #93 Rejection Lessons

Experiments with the 5 Stage Customer Journey and Ready, Willing & Able Assessment teach you how to get a Yes.
December 4, 2021

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You are listening to My Freedom Grove podcast with Gretchen Hernandez, episode 93.

Welcome to My Freedom Grove podcast. The all inclusive podcast that teaches mindset and business tools. We'll help you rise as your authentic self. Be unshakable with your emotional freedom and unstoppable in achieving any goal and living your purpose. I'm your host, Gretchen Hernandez. If you want to put your mental health first in life, relationships and business, you've come to the right place.



Hi, my strong friends, happy December. I hope that this month is full of a lot of fun for you. I know the end of the year can bring a whole lot of stress, but it can also have fun if you allow it to have fun.


One of the things that isn't fun is rejection. This seems to be a theme that has come up for many of my clients recently. And I also felt the sting of rejection recently, and I thought this would be a great episode to have. So learning from our rejections, what kind of lessons can we learn?


Rejection Even Happens When You Offer Your Services For Free


First I'll just share what my rejections thing was. So as business owners, you know, we always have to put offers out there to see if people want to purchase our product or service. We're usually coming at it because we really genuinely want to help people.


Well, sometimes we have a skill that can really help people that are really, really in need. We may not even see that person as a customer or as a potential customer. We just might see that they're suffering and we really want to help them.


I'm one of those people. I have not hidden my lifelong journey with depression from you and how I've recovered from that. So when I see somebody else struggling with their depression or some other mental health challenge, I know that I have this great skillset that can help them. I saw someone on Facebook who was broadcasting a struggle that they were having, and it really broke my heart to see them struggling this way.


And I was not approaching them as a business owner. I was just approaching them as someone who has suffered like that myself. And that if this person was struggling that bad, if they wanted to learn, I would teach them these kinds of tools so that they don't have to suffer.


Now, I don't do this very often because this is definitely something that I offer within the products and services that I offer to my customers. But when someone is struggling that bad, they're not necessarily looking for a coach. Sometimes they're just really struggling and they just need someone to reach out to them. So that's what I was doing.


Well, unfortunately, this person really thought that I was selling to them. And I tried to explain to them that no really was coming from a place of heartfelt giving. And, eventually, we cleared it all up, but it felt awful to get rejected. I was trying to offer help for free no strings attached. I was willing to make space in my schedule to help this person. And the words that were used towards me were really, really harsh, too.


In fact, the person told me I made their stomach churn and I thought, oh my gosh, you're really just trying to be a helpful person.


Mindset Management For Rejection


Rejection doesn't feel good, but we can manage our mind around the whole conversation. Around any offers to help people, whether it is as a business owner for a potential customer or just as a genuinely nice person trying to help someone else. It's possible we're going to face no's. We can just call it "No." Just even the word rejection creates a lot of painful feelings so we can just see however they respond to us as just a no.


If we look at the definition of the word rejection, it's pushing someone or something away.


One of the things that we can get hung up on is thinking that someone is rejecting us as a person. If they're rejecting the help, that's something different. That's not us as a person, that's the help. And just even making that distinction that they're rejecting or that they're pushing away something versus some one that might give you some relief from that sting.


What I want to go into is talking about the customer journey, because most of you that are listening are entrepreneurs, or you have some aspect about your business, where you do have to make offers to customers to help them.


  1. The Customer Journey: Knowing what those phases are, is helpful for knowing when is the right time to make an offer for help. So first I'm going to go over what that is.
  2. The 3 Keys - Ready, Willing & Able: The three keys that helped me learn how to manage those rejections or those No's, and how to learn from it is if they're ready, willing, and able. If someone is ready, willing, and able, they're going to be a yes. If any one of those three is off, then it's always going to be a no.


First we're going to go over the customer journey and then we're going to go over the ready, willing, and able. And some of the details in there.


The Five Stages Of A Customer Journey


The five stages of a customer journey have been documented for well over a hundred years in multiple marketing books. It's meant as a guide to help business owners to understand where their customer is, what they're going through, and how would you approach a person depending on what stage they're at.


  1. Pain Aware
  2. Problem Aware
  3. Solution Aware
  4. Product And Service Aware
  5. Client And Raving Fan


Stage 1: Pain Aware


All customers start off at pain aware at some point in their life. You've been a customer many times, so, you know what pain aware looks like. This could be physical pain in your body, or it could be some other challenge that you have going on in your life.


You might even think of your car, your car starts making a strange sound. That's a symptom, it's a pain symptom that something is wrong. You may not understand why you're having that symptom. You may not understand why you have that pain in your body. You may not understand why you have a conflict in your relationship. You may not understand why your car is making that funny noise.


Pain aware you basically just want the pain to stop. As a business owner, recognizing is someone even in pain? Because if we're going and we're going to try to make offers to help someone, they need to have a reason for why they'd even want help. If they're not even having any kind of a pain or a challenge, then they probably don't need our product or service. First stage is pain aware, how do you recognize it? How would you interact with a person who is having that pain, so that they know that that's a pain that you can help them with?


Stage 2: Problem Aware


The next stage is problem aware. So oftentimes we have these symptoms, but we don't know why. Like that noise in the car. We know there's a problem, but we don't know. Why conflict in a relationship? We know the pain, but why do we have that conflict? Some kind of a pain in our body? We know it's there, but what's the problem.


There are some type of a diagnostic that can happen. And that diagnostic is usually the professional that has evaluated what is going on and can pinpoint what exactly the problem is. Now it's possible, people can go to multiple service providers and get second opinions as to what the root causes of that problem. But if you're encountering someone that just is aware of their pain and they don't know what the root cause is, it doesn't make sense to pitch them a product and service because they don't even know if that's a match to what the root cause is of the problem.


You might have to help guide them through each of these steps first, before you ever tell them about your product or service.


Stage 3: Solution Aware


Helping them to get problem aware will help them to then open up to what kind of solutions are appropriate for solving that kind of a problem. They also have to acknowledge the problem. If they're still in denial that this is the problem, they're not going to go and explore different solutions. But once they have agreed that, yep, this is the problem. Then you can present solutions.


And sometimes it's best to just ask them what of solutions have they already tried? Because if you're coming at them like, Hey, here's this, they might already have some ideas of other solutions they want to try first. Especially if your solution is something they've never heard of before, you're asking them not only to experiment with a solution, but experiment with something completely brand new.


A lot of people have to build up their comfort level. They don't always like to go after the brand new things. So find out first, what are some of those common things that they've tried first? And some of those might be less expensive solutions, things that are quick fixes, things that a friend of theirs is already doing that has had some results with. Find out what all of that is first and then say, Hey, and in addition to all of those solutions, I have this solution, too. And you can present some information about your solution and how it has helped other people to address that problem.


Now, this is where you have to have a lot of patients. I always joke about going to the patient's store. Go buy some more patients for yourself. If you try really hard to force your solution on someone before they're ready, they're going to back away from you very, very fast.


That's where they're starting to push away from you. Right? Cause I talked about rejection being, pushing away from something versus pushing away from someone.


When you're presenting your solution and they have other things, they may be pushing away from your solution at first, because they want to go try something else. But, if you're pushing your solution on them so hard and not giving them the grace to go try some of the other things that they want to do first, then they're going to start pushing away from you.


Tread that area lightly allow them to, because quite possible, they'll go try all of these other solutions and the other solutions won't work for them. And you can even check back in with them from time to time to find out how did it go? Maybe part of that solution worked for them, maybe it didn't.

And then you can remind them that you have yet another thing that they could try. If they've exhausted all of their other options, you've got this one.


Once they get to the point where they're like, okay, yeah, I don't want to try any of the other solutions that are on the list or they've run out of all of the different options. Then they're ready to consider your solution.


Stage Four: Product And Service Aware


Now is the time for you to present your product and service to them. At this point, if you've done those stages and you allow them enough time to go through them, they're usually pretty open to purchasing your product and service. They've trusted you because you've given them enough space to go through that journey on their own. And they're ready to try out your solution. So now it's just does your products and solution fit their needs?


And so we'll get into some of that in the ready, willing, and able. Then they go and they purchase your product. They're going to try it, right? Now they're at stage four. And as long as you're fulfilling your product or service, really well, meeting their needs, checking in with them to make sure that this is meeting their needs. Then they start to go into stage five where they're not only a client, but they're a raving fan.


Stage Five: Client And Raving Fan


You want to have raving fans because if they've had great results with your product, your service, and especially with you, they're going to go and tell other people. And then that makes getting more people coming your way so much easier. The chance of getting No's is a lot smaller because the other person has already shared what their journey was.


They might've told them about all of the solutions that they experimented with and how your solution was the best thing. So now you have a new person coming to you or referral who's like, okay, I'm ready to sign up. This other person had great results with you.


Are They Ready, Willing, And Able?


When you are dealing with people, you have to decide are they ready, willing, and able, right?

You're already first assessing, are they at pain aware, problem aware, or solution aware? Or are they ready to purchase your product or service? But also assessing, are they ready? Are they willing? And are they able?


Assessing If Your Prospect Is Ready?


In ready, that's really where they have to be having a pain. If they don't have a pain, they're not ready. They don't have a challenge or a dream that they really want. And the pain is that they don't know how to get that dream to come true, or they don't have the means or they don't have the education or the skill set that becomes the pain.


If they don't know what the problem is, then they're not ready. If they don't have that, there are ways that you can nurture them along to help them so that they're ready. But if they're not ready, that is definitely not the time to tell them about your products and service.


Is Your Prospect Willing?


Willing, this goes back to have they tried out all of those different other solutions. Are they even willing to experiment? Like some people just are stuck in the sadness of having the problem. And they see experimenting as an insurmountable effort. The effort is not going to be worth it. Maybe cost involved won't be worth it. Maybe they haven't even looked into any of this. They just are making assumptions that none of this is worth it. They're just not willing yet.


And so usually that's that they're not in enough discomfort yet in order to move forward with whatever journey they have to take. It could be a growth journey for your product and service. It could be some other thing that's going to take effort from them to do.


This willingness one, this one can get pretty tricky though because you'll hear people out there expressing their pain a lot, or even talking about their problems. And so it seems like, yes, this is perfect. I have exactly what they need and you want to help them, but they're not willing yet. Some people are comfortable being in pain. That's the familiar to them, so they're not ready yet.


I experienced this a lot in my first year of being an entrepreneur. There are so many Facebook groups out there where people are expressing their pains and their problems. And there was one I was in for depression, anxiety because those were the people that I really wanted to help because all of these mindset tools are very effective at decreasing depression and anxiety.


And there were a huge number of people in these groups. But what I found was that they weren't willing yet to go and do any of these solutions like coaching because they were getting enough really just by expressing themselves. Just by having a group where they could go and talk about their pain, to talk about their problem, and that was enough. That was all the support that they needed. They weren't willing to do more than that because they didn't really feel like they needed more than that. Or they didn't believe that any of the other stuff would work yet.


Trying to experiment, and you're going to do that a lot as you're making offers as a business owner, trying to learn what are the cues to tell who are the people that are willing and who are not? When you do make those offers, and it seems like it's the right time and they say, no, this might be a good question to ask yourself, is where were they on a willingness scale to experiment with solutions?


If you start keeping track of each of these as experiments. All of the different people that you're making any type of an offer to, and you're writing out the, what worked, what didn't work, what would you do differently next time? You're going to start to see patterns emerge that help you to determine if they're ready and if they're willing. And then of course, if they're able, so that's what we're going to get into next.


Are They Ready, Willing, And Able?


I found ABLE comes down to four different things.


1. Priority.


Is this even their highest priority thing on their list to work on?


They may already know that they have a pain. They may know the problem. They may even be willing, but all of a sudden something else in their life pops up and that one takes priority. Many people that follow me on Facebook know that I had a medical emergency with my son that went down to college. And I may have had things that I wanted to work on in my business. And I have other service providers that are coming and making an offer. And it might be something really, really good and the right timing, so to speak, for taking on that type of help. But all of a sudden my business became my second priority because my son's health became my first priority.


I had to take a little pause, go down and see him, make sure that he was all taken care of. And then I could come to business.


What is the highest priority that someone has going on in their life? Their "no" to you, to your offer, to help it might not have anything to do with you or your product and service. It might just come down to priorities. So listen to them. Most likely, they're going to tell you, oh no, this other thing came up or this thing came up and you can choose if you want to try to coach them through what their priorities are. Or you can just show them the respect that they already know what their priorities are. And if you do that, you're going to build so much more respect and trust in that business relationship, because you really want to be taking care of your customers.


We're trying to think of what do they need most right now. And you might try to convince yourself that what they need most is your product and service. But really when you're looking at it, they need their highest priority taken care of first. And when that one is taken care of, they're ready to go to the next thing. And if that's the thing that you're helping them with and you were there supporting them all along like, yep. I hope that, you know, priority number one gets taken care of. They're going to want to come back to you. Don't worry about it. If they say no to you right now, because of priorities.


2. Emotional Energy


The next thing on if they're able is their emotional energy. Our emotional energy comes from all sorts of different sources. Some of it is just our own physical energy. Either the physical energy is there, or it's not, if the thing that you're going to be helping them with requires physical energy and they just don't have it, hen they're just not able to do that thing with you right now. But oftentimes our physical energy, it fluctuates.


Just because they don't have that physical energy right now doesn't mean that they won't have that next week, next week might be completely different vibe for them. And they're totally ready to come back and say yes to you. Another part of emotional energy comes down to the emotional burden that we all have.


One of my favorite authors you've heard me mentioned before is Don Miguel Ruiz. And he has a book called the Mastery of Love, where he talks about pain bodies that are on our body. And this is to represent our emotional pain. We all have different wounds that we have collected throughout our lives. This could be some of our mindset wounds, some of those fixed mindsets, thoughts that we have, some of the traumas that we've experienced, some of the lessons that we're still processing. All of those are like a wound on our body, thinking bruises or even, you know, some type of a sore.


Don Miguel Ruiz talks about every human walking around with a whole bunch of these. And some of these wounds are smaller. Some are bigger, some are closer to the surface. Some are deeper, but at any one time, if you've ever had bruises on your body, if people go and they touch your bruise, it hurts.


If you have a bunch of bruises all at one time, and someone's touching all of those, your pain level is way too much to bear. You want to make sure that you're keeping people psychologically safe.


I don't know what all of your products and services are, but some of them might be ones that are going to go and touch some of these emotional wounds. Now people can only handle so much emotional pain at one time. You might have to like, baby-step it, there might be one smaller wound to go after first to help heal that. Because once it's healed and you're poking at that one, it doesn't hurt anymore. And then it's okay to go on to the next one.


If you try to go for one, just because you can see it. And you're like, here's this big wound I want to come and I want to help you with this thing, touching that one. It might be way too much for someone to handle at that time. Or, we may not be aware that other wounds are also being touched at the same time. And it's just not safe for the person to take on that much all at one time.


If you get a no from someone or you get a really strange reaction, just know that you've probably touched any emotional wound that they had, that they're not ready to address yet. It doesn't mean that it's a no to you. It doesn't mean that it is a no to your product and service. It just means that it's a no right now. That they're not able to right now. But as soon as they have some healing of other things, then they might be ready to take that one on.


And you would be the person as long as you were gentle with them. All right.


3. Financial Ability


Now, two of our more common things are financial ability and time ability. Financially there will be times that people will use money as their reason why they are saying no to your product and service. It's true that sometimes people will use that as a way of saying no and trying to let you down easy. It could be that they really don't want your product and service and they have the money. But they're going to say that it's the money because it's easier for them to say no to that than to say, no, I just don't want your product or service.


But sometimes it really is financially. They don't have the money for something. And just because they say no, right now doesn't mean that it's a forever no. It could be that legitimately that they don't have the money right now, but they really want your product and service. And now that they know what the price is, now they can go and start planning for it and saving up for it.


I had to do that with getting some trees cut down on my property. I had three large trees over a year ago and I called someone out to get an estimate and I definitely was ready. I was willing, I thought I had money ready to go. And they came back and it was almost $9,000 to get these trees cut down. Oh my gosh, it was like a sucker punch. I was not expecting that price amount. And at the time I wasn't ready for that. I wasn't able to give them the $9,000, but I was ready and I was willing. So over time I saved up until I have the money and then I called them back.


The same thing can happen to you. Your product and service might be something that people really want. They're ready and they're willing. They just need a little bit of time to go and figure out how they're going to pay for it.


4. Time Constraints


And then the final thing is time. Sometimes people really don't have the time to do your product or your service. Especially if you're doing an educational product, there are so many online courses out there, now, that take a huge amount of time and someone may not have that much time to devote to sit down and watch it. Or they may not have the attention to sit there for that long. That was always a problem for me when I was in school. If I sat too long in a lecture, let's say longer than 15-20 minutes, something about my body would just shut down and I'd start to fall asleep.


I actually prefer very short courses where it teaches me a little bit of something and I can go get into action and learn by doing. So that's a time constraint for me is just my body doesn't want to let me sit there for very long.


There may be other time constraints that people have to, they may be juggling all sorts of things. They may have a couple of different jobs that they're doing. They might have family commitments that they have to do. They might be learning other things. You might have the opportunity to offer some suggestions for how they can create some time in their schedule.


Ask them if they're interested in that. We don't want to just shove that on them. Like we might have ideas for them, but again, that's, that's advice, right? If they're asking for the help, that's different so we can always offer, Hey, I have some ideas on how you can save some time so that you can make room for whatever this product and services.


But if they say no, just allow it because if they really want your product and service, they will find time. They will make that time in their schedule. And then they'll come back to you.


If when you're doing all of these experiments with putting out your product and service, and you're getting a lot of no's and you're evaluating those different things, the priorities, the emotional energy, the finances, the time you might start to see a theme. For example, if time does end up being a common theme, take a look at it to see, do you have any flexibility in your product and service? Can you adjust it some way so that people can say yes to it? Maybe now it can fit into their schedule.


If it was something where it was going to take three hours to do something with you. And now you can get it down to one hour. Maybe that's going to fit in for them. Now it could be the time of day. There are some car places that will offer evening appointments because they know that a bunch of people work during the day. They may not want to leave their car there, but they can come after work and get some work done on it.


If you're someone that provides a one-on-one service in any way, you might want to consider do having later appointments or early morning appointments, does that work better for your customers? Because if you find that sweet spot where it works for them and for you, you're going to get a lot more yes's.


Experiment, Experiment, Experiment


I don't know if you had ever considered that all of these were experiments. Every time that you're making an offer to a potential customer, all of it is an experiment. In fact, all of the interactions that you have before you even make an offer is an experiment.


You can break it down into each of those little phases so that you can learn from each of those. Because as you start to learn, you'll start to see the patterns and you'll know what is it that you're supposed to do with that customer at that moment to either nurture them along the path so that they eventually are a yes or to know when is the right time to make an offer? Because sometimes you might be missing the boat. They might be ready and you've missed the cues. 

There's all sorts of learning that can happen there, get out and practice as much as you can. The fear of rejection is so high that I see sometimes myself and sometimes my clients not even getting out there and willing to experiment and try because they think if they go out and they get one, no, that's it. And they should just stop and never look back.


But you want to go out and experiment as much as possible because that's where all of your answers lie. This is a skill that you can learn. There's a lot of knowledge that you can learn. And once you know all of those pieces, then you're going to have a higher chance of getting yes's all the time. I hope that you have found this very helpful. So remember the five stages of customer awareness, you've got:


  1. Pain Aware
  2. Problem Aware
  3. Solution Aware
  4. Product And Service Aware
  5. Client And Raving Fan


And then always assess, are they ready? Are they willing? Are they able?


If any of those three is off, then it's not going to be a yes right now. Being an entrepreneur has a lot of emotional stuff that comes along with it, including protecting our heart so that it doesn't hurt.


These are all things that I can help you with. I can help navigate all of the waters on this, all those emotional triggers. If you would like to have that extra support, know that I'm available for you, you can go set up some time for us to talk, to see what support would look like for you. Go to my MyFreedomGrove.com, go to the contact tab. And there's a calendar there. You can set up some time for us to talk.


My friends, I hope that you have a great week and I will talk to you soon. Bye-Bye.


Thank you for listening to My Freedom Grove podcast.  I can't wait to work with you directly. I'll help you to be your authentic self, to have amazing relationships and to live your purpose. I invite you to check out Unshakable Men and Unshakable Women. The Unshakable programs will give you all of the tools, the coaching and the community to help you rise in life, relationships, and business. To learn more, go to my freedom grove.com/workwithme. I can't wait to see you there.


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