Conquering the Fear of ‘No’: A Sales Journey to Profitability for Women Business Owners

Ever faced the gut-punch of rejection in sales and wondered how to pick yourself back up? Buckle up, as we unravel the art of transforming a resounding “no” into a stepping stone for success in this episode of Straight Talk About Sales. Picture this: you’re a woman at the helm of your own enterprise, and each rejection feels like a personal attack. But what if I told you that it’s all part of the dance? Through my own trials and tribulations, I’ll guide you through the emotional battlefield of sales, where every “no” isn’t a setback, but a chance to refine your pitch and polish your approach. Discover the essential strategies that keep you buoyant in this high-stakes game, and learn to navigate the pricing conundrum that leaves so many would-be entrepreneurs watching from the sidelines.

Now, let’s shift gears and talk invites—how do you extend that all-important offer without the fear of refusal clouding your every move? It’s about embracing the ‘No’s and seeing them as inevitable mile markers on the road to a ‘Yes’. I’ll take you on a journey from the paralyzing fear of hearing “no” to the thrill of chasing down a hundred of them with the 100 No’s Challenge. It’s not about the immediate win; it’s the long game, where persistence meets practice. So, join me in a candid conversation about the sales odyssey that all entrepreneurs must embark on, where learning to extend an invitation is as crucial as the offer itself. Together, we’ll unlock the secrets to building resilience, fostering relationships, and ultimately, propelling your business to new heights.

Key takeaways from this episode:

  • Understanding the emotional impact of sales rejection and how to overcome it
  • The importance of effective pricing strategies and relationship building
  • The 100 No’s challenge to build resilience and gather client feedback
  • How to clearly extend invitations to prospective clients

Remember to keep adding tips and strategies to your own sales toolkit that will improve your revenue outcomes and equip you to serve your clients at a higher level.

Resources mentioned in this episode:

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Here’s the transcript:

Dr. Nadia  0:00  

We’re on the road to yes and no is how we get there. Isn’t it funny how a simple two letter word such as no can get us all up in our feelings and prevent us from pursuing our big dreams and growing our businesses. 

Dr. Nadia  0:16  

I’m Dr. Nadia, founder of the Doyenne agency and host of the straight talk about sales with Dr. Nadia podcast. And on today’s episode, we’re going to talk about know, in sales and the fear of rejection and the impact that it has on women business owners growing their businesses, it’s time to shift this narrative, and how we approach and embrace the word know, I’ll see you there.

Dr. Nadia  1:09  

One of the things that I can guarantee you as you work and continue to make sales and extend invitations to work with you, you will hear their word no. And that may not that may be just flat out. No, it may be some other reason or phrase another way. But the truth of the matter is that in sales no as a part of the process. However, I have found that many times women, business owners, leaders, especially starting out in the business, know is that thing that really gets in the way. And while it’s only a two letter word, it has such big implications. 

Dr. Nadia  1:59  

And so I wanted to spend some time today during this episode talking about No, and then the ways to really work with no as you’re building your business. And I can say this, truthfully, even though a big part of my career in sales has been part of that has been doing sales for other people. 

Dr. Nadia  2:21  

So there’s been a lot of times when I’ve been in conversation after conversation after conversation after conversation. And while that’s good for the practice part. Sometimes it really is just like no, ever no after No, like you just have those days, those moments where it just feels like that no is so heavy. And so the first thing I want to talk about is because oftentimes, you you hear it in business, that it’s not personal, it’s just business. 

Dr. Nadia  2:52  

And, and I agree, it is personal. It’s not personal. It’s just business. And I can also say there are times when it doesn’t feel that way. Like I may know that here. But in my heart of hearts, it feels very personal. It can be painful. And in my book, so like a lady how to shatter not how to shout at us the other book in my book, so like a lady How to Master sales with dignity, class and grace. I talked about no like the word no. 

Dr. Nadia  3:26  

But in that people when hearing this word are especially dealing with that whole all the feelings that come up. So the other part of that is, it feels personal sometimes. And that rejection stings, right? And it can be a painful sting. When you go through that process of hearing No, and you’re feeling like you’ve been personally rejected. 

Dr. Nadia  3:49  

And so in that the research has shown that sometimes that can actually manifest as a physical pain in your body. Like it’s not just it’s not enough to just say, it’s not personal. It’s just business, like there are things and sometimes things that we need to process. What’s really going on, because obviously, this is a business and it isn’t personal. 

Dr. Nadia  4:16  

And yet when it is your vision, your dream, your baby so to speak, it can feel very personal. When someone decides for whatever reason that they don’t, they’re not ready to accept the invitation to work with you and your company or your team. 

Dr. Nadia  4:34  

And so how do you deal with that? Because oftentimes, what I find when I work with leaders, is that what’s really holding them back from growing their business from achieving this success. A big part of that is this word now and the fear of rejection. And it’s big. I do this all all the time and talking to women. I recently was added, I was a speaker at an in person events. 

Dr. Nadia  5:07  

And that one as a host of the conference was introduced to me one of the questions she asked the room was, how many of you in here, love sales? Two hands went up. I didn’t raise my hand because I was a speaker that was kind of like cheating, right? Because you know, but two, it will be three, including me. So not entire room. Only two or three people were like, yes, yes, let’s do it. Everyone else was like, let’s not. And many times, it’s because they don’t want to hear the word. No. 

Dr. Nadia  5:45  

Now, there’s some other things tied to that, like, they don’t want to feel like they have to be slimy. They don’t want to have to feel like they have to be manipulative. Like there’s some other emotions and feelings behind that. But there’s also that underlying Dr. Nadia, I don’t want to be rejected. I had a client that went through our recent sales series. And she was so funny, because part of the part of the work that we do in that series, I think, is week two, I think it’s week two, we work on pricing. 

Dr. Nadia  6:19  

And in the pricing session, and then also in the how to have your sales conversations session. She kept trying to maneuver and shift things. So have her pricing at a level where no one was saying no. And I had to remind her that no matter how low your prices are just about, no one will ever always say yes, but you may get a high percentage, but there’s somebody out there, if you look far and wide, who still is just not in their budget, they don’t see the value, they don’t get it, they don’t understand it, right. 

Dr. Nadia  6:52  

So you then you just take that out of your head, made less price it so that your business can be profitable. And let’s work on finding the right fit clients so that you have a good conversion, right. And I often see that and as possibly, I don’t know all the answers. I haven’t done extensive research. But I dare to propose that part of the reason why the numbers for women to even cross 100,000 in annual revenue in their business is time to I don’t want to be rejected. And if I don’t want to be rejected, that means I’m not doing sales. 

Dr. Nadia  7:31  

And I as I share it in that conference, and I will share now, no sales equals no business. If you’re not doing sales, then you just have an exceptionally expensive hobby. And so you have to shift like we have to do sales, we got to sell something and start generating revenue in the business. So how do I do that? When I have this fear around rejection, and I don’t want to be rejected in my business. 

Dr. Nadia  7:59  

So let’s talk about the road to Yes, because I get it. And so you probably have also heard that saying that sales is a numbers game. And that is true. Like that’s partially true. In that, I say partially only because I think it’s only a portion of the picture. But there’s definitely a part of that where you just got to get the numbers in.

Dr. Nadia  8:23  

 And that’s why a lot of times you’ll hear me talk about the numbers, the revenue, the conversation, the conversions, but also focusing on the relationship having the systems to continue to build and nurture relationships, because just because it’s a no today doesn’t mean it’s a no forever. And I think sometimes we can be short sighted when we’re doing sales and growing our businesses that we only focus on what’s going on in the business. Like right now. 

Dr. Nadia  8:52  

Whatever’s happening right now good, bad or indifferent. That’s our focus. And we sometimes forget that people need time, things change. There’s so many things happening now in the world and a marketplace in our lives. Things can change. And so that’s also why we have systems in place to support us. We’ll talk about system but another episode, but today, I definitely want to focus on this whole process. Around No. 

Dr. Nadia  9:22  

And so I’ve often talked about the road to Yes. And part of the road to yes is dealing with all of the no is like that the night yeah, come on, give me something else. But the truth of the matter is, in order to get to a yes, you have to go through the no. And that is part of the reason why I encourage you to figure out ways to have more conversations. 

Dr. Nadia  9:47  

Not only does it give you practice, but it also helps to relieve the pressure in the back of your mind where you’re like I don’t know where this is coming from because I’m not having enough conversation. And the more conversations you have, the more data you get data is your friend, you’re getting feedback, you’re getting input, you’re seeing the areas where you can improve. 

Dr. Nadia  10:10  

And it also increases your chances of getting to your yes sooner when you have those conversations more compacted. So that’s also why sometimes you have cashflow challenges because we don’t have consistent conversations, we have a group over here is the land of quiet and silence and nothing here in the middle. And then it’s like, oh, shoot down, it’s a mad scramble over here to get back to pick up the pace. 

Dr. Nadia  10:37  

So we can figure out how to have consistency in our business. It helps us to reduce the wild revenue or income swings, some may see in their businesses when they’re not doing it. And so the road to Yes, I remember a talk and I talked about your example, it might be in the book, I don’t remember, um, where I was headed to. I think it was headed to DC for this particular trip, DC, Maryland area and early morning trip for for me leave a phoenix. 

Dr. Nadia  11:13  

And the goal was when I got on the ground in DC, I was to meet it with a colleague, we had a whole itinerary of things that we needed to get accomplished in preparation for the events and things that we had going on that week. And Well, lo and behold, I forget I live in a place that it doesn’t snow, I get to the airport, nice, bright and early. Okay, it wasn’t bright. It’s still dark. But it was early. 

Dr. Nadia  11:40  

And you know how you’re sitting there waiting for your flight. And you get that dreaded announcement that your flight has been canceled? Well, my flight had been canceled because of the weather in the city. I think it was supposed to fly through Chicago, that was a learning lesson for me. Don’t do that during the winter, because I had a connection in Chicago. And so my flight, couldn’t go weather delays and everything. 

Dr. Nadia  12:02  

So they ended up rerouting me through I think St. Louis. But that meant that I was going to get to DC later than originally pants. So instead of getting there like early afternoon ish, I got there that night. And that directly impacted my itinerary. Well, I share that story because I was at the airport, and I had a final destination in mind. And I was not at all excited about this flight delay. 

Dr. Nadia  12:30  

But it did not stop me from moving forward with my trip. And the same is true in your business, you have a destination, you have goals in mind, whether it’s your bigger overarching vision or as your annual revenue goal. Maybe it’s even your monthly revenue goal. And you also have goals when you’re having your sales conversations, particularly with people that you want to work with. You’re excited you want to do this. 

Dr. Nadia  12:55  

And so you have a goal in mind that they say yes. But here’s the thing. They don’t always say yes. They don’t always say yes. When we want them to say yes. That’s a whole nother lesson for another day. Right. But here, so I want you to understand that part of the process to get into the Yes, is going through the nos. So several years back, I I did what is called what I call the 30 day 100 nose challenge. 

Dr. Nadia  13:24  

So my challenge to everyone was over the next 30 days, their goal was to get 100 nose, like they had to have enough conversations to get 100 people to actually say no, and this was such a fun exercise. And I invite you to take this and run with it. We should I should probably totally update those videos. But anyway. And in that what I have found is one it really caused people to think like, first of all, when am I going to have 100 conversations? Right? 

Dr. Nadia  14:02  

Like it causes you to get really creative? And to think about what could that potentially look like? And the more important part is it just got people it reframed people’s vision and the emotion around the word no, because now I’m actually my goal is to actually get the know. And it really put people in action because it was like 30 days, not a year 30 days. To do this. I gotta get an action. I got to be creative. 

Dr. Nadia  14:34  

And now my goal is to actually get the No, right so now I’m not afraid of the No, because if I didn’t know that was actually going to go in a checkbox right for what my goal was. Here’s the thing. I have yet to have a single person. Come back to me and say, I got my 100 knows what I do here. is, oh my gosh, Dr. Nadia, I cannot believe the number of new people I get to work with. And then they’re off working with the people and doing the things. 

Dr. Nadia  15:07  

Now they have to remember to stay consistent with whatever they were doing. But it’s a great exercise. If you’re still at that place where no was like, then I want you to just get into practice. And this is something that I do, even in my own businesses, we’ve been shifting and doing things and pivoting and oh my gosh, we’re having conversations with a different audience. 

Dr. Nadia  15:30  

And I was spending a lot of time in my opinion, where I was just kind of, you know, in my office pontificating, and what if thing and talking with my mastermind, and my work besties and my husband, and, you know, we’re just all these things that all these ideas and all the all the all the things that I needed to do, and I was getting ready to get ready. 

Dr. Nadia  15:50  

And eventually, I just got annoyed with myself, I was getting to my owners, and I was like, Nadia, you need to start talking to real humans, right? Like you need to get into conversation, and start talking to your people. Like you don’t know what you don’t know, and you’re not gonna figure it out, sitting in your office thinking about it. So I started having the conversations. 

Dr. Nadia  16:12  

And then it was like, oh, and I gave myself permission to not be married to a guess. I gave myself permission to be like, I’m gonna show up to this conversation. I’m gonna be 100% present fully me ask powerful questions. But I’m not married to it yet. 

Dr. Nadia  16:31  

So if this doesn’t lead to Yes, it’s okay. However, I know that if I do this enough, as I’m gathering information, I’m getting feedback, I’m really understanding my audience, we’re able to make tweaks and changes to our messaging, we’re able to decide, yay, that’s a good idea in terms of besucht fire, we want to go after or name, not scratch that from the list, right? So I encourage you to just get out there and start having the conversations. 

Dr. Nadia  17:02  

Now I get that it can be a little unnerving, which is why I always acknowledge you for having the courage to do it in the first place. And so take on your own version of the 100 nose challenge, and start having conversations, get creative, have fun, give yourself the space and grace to just figure some things out, because it won’t always be perfect. And the nos are coming. 

Dr. Nadia  17:28  

So you might as well enjoy them, learn from them, and move on. Because here’s the thing, if you don’t ever ask, the answer is always no. And you can’t grow your business from that no place. The other thing is remembering to extend the invitation. 

Dr. Nadia  17:50  

Now, this is important, because I remember, many, many years ago when I was you know, trying to figure this whole sales thing out. I didn’t extend the invitation. I did all the things. And I will show up and I will answer their questions. And I had an amazing presentation. And it was amazing. 

Dr. Nadia  18:10  

I always thought that if it was amazing enough that people would just line up to work with me. But I realized quickly, that that was not the case. In that way. Like you have to be able to extend the invitation, aka, ask people to work with you or explain to them how they can work with you, including what that investment might look like. 

Dr. Nadia  18:37  

And then being able to be silent. After you extend it to give them the opportunity to think it through process it. Ask any questions that they may have, and then be able to move forward. Don’t allow this simple two letter word is actually a part of the process to completely derail your vision and your dreams. 

Dr. Nadia  19:04  

No is part of it. Think about it as like stop signs or red lights on your way to whatever destination you may be on. It’s just part of the process. It’s part of the journey. But there’s so many rich lessons that you can learn along the way. And I acknowledge there are times Trust me, I know when the cash isn’t looking the way you need it to look. 

Dr. Nadia  19:27  

And that’s okay. Like you’ll figure it out. You’ll learn how to make the adjustments, whether it’s in the frequency of the sales, conversation, your pricing, your systems, your cash management, like all of those things, play a part in it, but you don’t know and you won’t get the sales and generate the revenue on a consistent basis if you’re not in the game, if you will. So get in it. 

Dr. Nadia  19:52  

Start having conversations, talking to people letting them know what you’re up to increase their number of speaking engagements or however you you’re leveraging on your marketing, like get out there and have fun with it because it can completely revolutionize your business. 

Dr. Nadia  20:09  

And is definitely one of the ways that we shift this whole thing around only 12%. That’s that number still baffles my mind of big women owned businesses that ever hit six figures ever like this crazy to me, and I know that it doesn’t have to be this way. All right. So we’re going to embrace No, we’re going to go look for some knows no to IR right there with you in the process, having conversations, learning, growing, revising, improving, is all part of the process. 

Dr. Nadia  20:49  

And if you have comments, feedback questions, you’re like, oh my god, I gotta need you to talk about this. Send us an email at ask Dr. Nadia at We would love to answer that question, and it may be featured on an upcoming episode. If you enjoyed this episode, please be sure to rate and like us and leave us some comments and feedback on Apple. 

Dr. Nadia  21:14  

I look forward to seeing you next time on another episode of straight talk about sales with Dr. Nadia. See you soon. Bye bye