Imagine a sales person (who sells for a living) who is convinced that every prospect will say "no" to his every sales pitch. How in the world would he still be in sales? Why would he even be in sales? Many sales people start out with a bang, being successful.. But then at some point (usually early on) someone says "no" to them. It might be the very first prospect. If that sales person has not prepared himself to hear the word "no" it might effect him negatively. That sales person will eventually begin to expect every prospect to say no. When that happens, it's time to re-train or look for another profession.
Understand that no is not a negative word. To a successful sales person no can mean a multitude of things. No can mean:
- Spend no more time on this one and move on to the next.
- Examine my pitch to see why they said "no".
- One less "no" to experience.
- Not now, but maybe later.
- Perhaps I need to change my pitch somewhat.
- Perhaps I need to practice my pitch more.
- Perhaps I need a more thorough knowledge of the product I am pitching to gain more self-confidence.
- Perhaps I need to hang with someone who is more successful than I to learn more.
I could spend the rest of the day listing legitimate meanings for the response "no". Some people seem to naturally be successful at sales. But all sales people must be prepared for the response "no".
A successful sales person is always learning, practicing, and looking for new prospects. Some sales people have to pitch more people to get through the no's in order to get their quota of yes's. A company I have worked for says I will be successful if I close 6 sales out of 100 pitches. These numbers have a lot to do with the product presented and the fact that 94 out of 100 people won't think they need my product. Imagine that...94 "no's" and just 6 "yes's" and I'm successful! You have to have thick skin to hear all the no's. But they're not personal. They are just personal decisions made by each different person pitched. I'm not required to make the person accept...but I am required to make the pitch. If I consistently make the pitch, and learn from the no's, the 6 or more I get make me successful...something not everybody does!
As followers of Christ we could learn from the world of sales. Christ is not a commodity or a product we're pitching, however He did tell us to tell them. He did commission us to present to others the good news of who He is and what He can do. He is the best thing we could ever pitch to someone else! So remember, when someone tells you no, it's not personal...it is a personal decision that person has made. Even receiving a "no" when sharing about Jesus is not necessarily negative (see meanings for no above). And the truth is you probably will be rejected as a follower of Christ by someone at some point. But the whole world rejected Jesus, so He could be presented to you and me.