That’s Not What I Wanted to Hear!

I was asking a founder what he’s been up to. He gave me an update on the last few months, including something that’s not going well. His conversations with potential customers aren’t yielding the results he expected.

As we dug in, I realized a few things. He’s being told that his solution is lacking. It isn’t solving the problem well enough, so potential customers aren’t committing to trying it. Getting told that his baby is ugly is frustrating him. He’s not taking rejection well at all.

I reminded him that regardless of what prospects tell him—yes or no—the why is what’s most important. If multiple prospects turn into customers for the same reason, he’s likely hit on something and should lean into it. If multiple prospects tell him no for the same reason, his solution is missing the mark, and he should figure out how to address their concerns in the solution.

Bad feedback is part of the entrepreneurial journey. How you perceive it, though, is within your control and can be the difference between success and failure. Next time you don’t hear what you want, try to understand what it will take to get prospects to a yes.