This is the last week our au pair will be with us before she goes back to her country for school. We decided to have a special waffle breakfast to say good-bye and thank you to her. As usual, my youngest daughter was the first one up the day of the big breakfast and she was super excited. She wanted us to make waffles NOW. Now happened to be 5:45 a.m. and everyone else was still asleep. Of course, my explanation that we had to wait until everyone was awake went over like a lead balloon. It also had no effect on her insistent asking if we could start the waffle-making process NOW. Here's how the conversation went:
Her: "Now, Mommy, is it time now?"
Me: "No, Honey, not yet, not everyone is awake yet. We'll have to wait a bit more."
2 Minutes later…
Her: "Now, Mommy? Now?"
Me: "Sorry, no Honey, not yet. We have to wait."
Her: "One Mississippi, two Mississippi, three Mississippi. Ok, now Mommy."
And so it went on every two minutes until I just gave in and started making the waffles with her alone while everyone else slept. I figured I could just make some more later and save my sanity in the meantime.
My point is that persistence pays off. If you ask once and are given a "no" or a "not now" or "maybe later" and you just walk away, you may be giving up too quickly. I'm not suggesting you pester someone until they fantasize about running away to Hawaii just to get away from you (wait, that was my fantasy), but I am suggesting you continue to ask and get feedback. You may be assuming the other person is out and out rejecting you or your offer, but there could by many reasons for a response other than yes. For example, they could be busy, or distracted, or even feeling lazy about making a decision. It can take many exposures to you or your service before a new client is comfortable taking the leap. You never know when the switch will be turned on, so do not give up too easily.
You may also need to learn not to personalize rejections. As women, this is something to which we are particularly sensitive. Children do not assume you don't like them if you say no the 10th time they ask for a new toy. They are merely focused on getting the toy. Of course, you need to be polite and diplomatic in your approach, but do not assume someone doesn't like you just because they say no.
So ask, ask again, get feedback, tweak if necessary, and ask again. Who knows, maybe someone might even make you some nice warm waffles.