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RISMEDIA, Feb. 1, 2007- It is not uncommon for real estate agents to acknowledge that they have a fear of rejection. This has become the catch-all Freudian reason for our lack of prospecting. It is socially acceptable to have a fear of rejection. Everyone does.

Coping, on the other hand, means to effectively handle a situation and to positively manage the circumstance. Coping is a skill, not just an attitude. We develop it in the maturing process of life when we are confronted with issues that make us uneasy and uncomfortable. It is in these fiery furnaces that we mold our coping techniques by making choices.

Because coping is a defensive mechanism we are more prone to quickly develop patterns that realize the least amount of stress in the shortest period of time. We also tend to ingratiate ourselves by disconnecting truth from fantasy. We readily search for any explanation that does not diminish our personal view of who we would like to be and/or how we would like others to see us.

Like rejection. Notice just how powerful the deliberate misinterpretation of a word can be and how it is then used to justify our behavior. Rejection can be, and most often is, as benign as a negative response to a request. Therefore, it is nothing more than information. However, in order to cope, we take the interpretation of rejection to volatile levels by introducing the notion of denunciation or rebuff. We hide under the camouflage of this misapplication, and in doing so, we are protecting our image and our ego. This is a formula for either dreadful failure or gross mediocrity…not success.

If anyone has ever experienced horribly debilitating, personal rejection, they should never confuse the two. Do not pretend that a prospect, such as an expired listing, an FSBO or a complete stranger, who simply says "NO" to your prospecting inquiry is rejecting you. It is quite to the contrary. They are giving you useful information. The best friend you will ever have in real estate sales is the law of average. To every repeated activity there is a set formula for responses. It is purely statistical. Yes, it is almost scientific.

"There are a lot of people who will say NO before you uncover the one who will say YES."

Consequently, your real goal in prospecting should be to get rid of as many "no's" as possible. But as long as you are privately trembling and out of control from the deliberate misuse of a word, you will plague yourself-not just in real estate, but in life. You will miss all the fun. You will not enjoy the glitter of success.

You have absolutely no control over whether a prospect will say "yes" or "no." The only thing over which you have total control is getting the prospect to say "yes, no or maybe." If you were to discipline yourself to memorize great language scripts (and you should), you would enhance your chances with those who are truly stalling. But, the only absolute prediction that can be made is "If you don't …they won't." Or an even better rendering is by "The Great One," Wayne Gretsky, who challenges us all when he says the only shot he was certain he would never score was the one he didn't take.

When you concentrate your focus on the great opportunity that a career in real estate really offers you and harness your attitude and bring it into alignment with your purpose, you will redeem every circumstance. Your only limitations will come from your coping choices. Start taking control of your actions and allow other people's decisions to become positive information for you to exploit. Now that's the formula for success.

Source: Real Estate magazine, February 2007