Logically most people get that. Unfortunately hearing something negative often triggers an emotional response that throws logic out the window.
Tell me if this sounds familiar:
A friend is tossing around an idea for a new business. They’re trying to determine if the idea is viable so they run it by you and ask your thoughts. Whatever the reason the idea doesn’t work for you and you tell that to your friend. They become upset and defensive, because “you just don’t seem to get it” and this episode impacts your relationship.
Here are 3 reasons why it’s important to separate your emotions and take feedback with an open mind:
1. You asked for feedback
Chances are if you are going around asking for feedback there’s a reason. Likely you are unsure of whether the product you’re offering is right for your audience. When someone confirms your doubts it can be disappointing. But learning early on that something will not work in the market can save you a lot of heartache – as well as time and money!
2. Improved sales strategy
Feedback is powerful because it lets you in on the objections your prospects may raise. If you know about these obstacles before you make a sales call, then you can be ready to address them.
Maybe you are proactive and actually speak to these objections as part of your presentation. Maybe you simply have an answer prepared for a question. However you decide to tackle the problem, you’ve armed yourself with knowledge so you don’t get surprised when money is on the line.
If someone didn’t get it, it’s not their fault, it’s yours. Perhaps your explanation was too convoluted. Perhaps you used a lot of jargon. Perhaps it was a really long day and they simply couldn’t focus.
You can bet that in the real world potential customers will be tired and have their attention divided. If they can’t understand what you’re selling, or the benefit to them, you don’t get the sale.
It’s crucial to be clear and concise in your message. So if someone “doesn’t get it” then you need to do a better job in your explanation.
With all this said, it’s also important to remember you can’t please everyone. If you’re collecting feedback remember to:
- Get a sample set. Your entire strategy should not be dictated by one person. Get multiple perspectives and look out for things that are repeated.
- Consider the source. A random comment on social media should not carry the same weight as your business partner’s opinion.
- Use audience targets. No matter how much you trust your father, his thoughts on a product for teenage girls may not be the perspective you’re after.
We all want to receive validation and have people tell us how smart and wonderful we are our idea is. For business owners especially, their business can seem like their baby, and negative comments feel like a personal insult. But if you can learn to take feedback with an open mind, you’re business will be better for it.