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How do you to take criticism, without it making you upset?

OnTrayOnTray subscriber Posts: 4
edited January 2008 in Thought Leadership

Ok, so about 6 months ago I sent my product, OnTray, off to be reviewed by the catalog Leaps and Bounds for their consideration to include it in their offerings. I have e-mailed them several times to follow up with them. I finally get a response today. This is what it said:

"We have reviewed the product and based on our parents panel feedback we have decided to take a pass. They really liked the concept overall, but were concerned about germs since the tray has to attach directly onto the handle of the shopping cart. Our customer, also purchases product/covers that cover up shopping cart to elimate the exposure to germs from the shopping cart, and they would not be able to use both products together.
Please let us know if any changes are made to the product to address these issues."

To which I responded with this:

"That`s too bad. I`m guessing you haven`t taken a look at my Product Uses page lately on my web site,
There is a picture of a little boy Max shopping with his mom in the seat cover with his fantastic blue OnTray. Many moms are buying OnTray to use in conjunction with their seat covers, because the covers only have pockets, not a tray to use to hold snacks. I do think your customers would appreciate options.
Thanks for your consideration."

I take rejection hard anyway (who doesn`t), but now I told my husband, it`s things like this that make me want to throw in the towel. Any comments?


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    OnTrayOnTray subscriber Posts: 4
    Oh, you are so right.  It`s tough sometimes to remind yourself of that, you know?
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    OnTrayOnTray subscriber Posts: 4
    Wow, how funny.  I just said to my husband, "If this was easy, people would be inventing things or starting businesses left and right."  Oh, I am feeling so much better.  Thank you!
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    OnTrayOnTray subscriber Posts: 4
    Wow!  Thank you, thank you.  I appreciate your feedback, and I am off to place the picture of the baby in his seat cover somewhere on the front of my site!
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    OnTrayOnTray subscriber Posts: 4
    Thanks Craig.  If nothing else, you made me laugh!   No, seriously, I appreciate your feedback.
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    OnTrayOnTray subscriber Posts: 4
    That monologue is fantastic!  I wish I could somehow post that on my site, but I need to be respectful huh?  I am really embracing this feedback from Leaps and Bounds now.  I have placed a note on my homepage about using OnTray in conjunction with a fabric seat cover and I am having my designer place a picture of OnTray in use with one of thos covers on my homepage too.  We`ll show them!
    OnTray12/28/2007 7:51 PM
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    RicWillmotRicWillmot subscriber Posts: 14
    More fool them.
    They are buyers, their job is to buy from you and they didn`t.
    I have been truned down more times than the bed in the Executive Suite
    of the Marriott; I am still here and I am doing very well thank you.
    If a soldier can be shot at doing his job, if a pilot can land a
    crippled aircraft with 300 lives relying upon him, and if a heart
    surgeon can operate on a patient; what have people like you and I got
    to worry about?
    I have never been bloody, bruised or broken from being rejected.
    The good thing is, you now know they are not interested, so you will no
    longer need to find time to continue with them. That additional time
    you now have at your disposal can be used on marketing yourself to
    quality buyers.
    There is a rising tide unless we wish to be a victim of the water!

    Ric Willmot
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    OnTrayOnTray subscriber Posts: 4
    Your words and advice amaze and inspire me.  Thank you for taking the time to help me.  It is most appreciated!
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    ladderlessladderless subscriber Posts: 3
    I have to tell you... I read your response to them as a bit sarcastic and hostile.
    You have (had?) a great opportunity to keep the lines of communication open.  if your product addresses their concerns, don`t write them and make it seem like it`s their fault for not understanding it - Write to them and apologize (again and again) for not being clear with them, or at least ignore the fact that they misunderstood something - Just go ahead and happily show them that you can address their needs.
    Your goal is not to be correct - Your goal is to sell your product!
    "I`m thrilled to hear that your panel liked my product, and am even happier to hear that if we could address the germ issue, we would have a product you could sell.
    At OnTray, customer safety is critical, and exposure to germs is an important part of safety.  Your panel would be happy to know that our product is completely compatible with seat covers (as can be seen here: http://www.ontray2go.com/ProductUses.htm).  We are also considering extending the clip that covers the cart handle for extra barrier protection, and will even make the tray out a Microban material to complete the germ protection picture.
    Please let me know how to proceed to continue with your evalution process, as I believe that we can easily adress the concerns that have arisen."
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    OnTrayOnTray subscriber Posts: 4
    Good point.  Thank you for your feedback.
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    studiocheriestudiocherie subscriber Posts: 6
    Hi Laura,
    Another catalog for you to approach if you haven`t already is the Solutions catalogue.  I think they might be a good fit for your product.  Solutions, 3188 NW Aloclek Drive, Hillsboro, OR 97124.
    I appreciate your starting this thread, as I have learned from the advice you`ve received here.  When I met with a multibillion dollar corporation about licensing my product line, I prepped my self by saying "I know they have an agenda, let`s just see if what I have works with it.  If they say `no,` it`s not that my product is bad, it`s that it doesn`t fit into their agenda right now."  So I went to the meeting ready to share my line and find out about them and what they were looking for.  They loved it and were incredibly positive, but their plan was for me to pay them to license their name, not for them to pay me to license my product.  That`s why they have the big bucks and I don`t - yet. 
    Every meeting, every encounter is an opportunity to learn.  When you find the catalog that sees your product as a fit for their sales and marketing strategy, you`ve expanded your business.  Any that don`t fit along the way don`t take away from what you`ve already done, they add to your ability to communicate and your knowledge of the process.  You know your product is great and that it fills a need, nothing can change that.
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    SandraPSandraP subscriber Posts: 3
    I have learned through many, many rejections that I grow more personally and professionally from them than from the sales I do close.

    Many times we hear the advice, "Don`t take it personally." I disagree; I think we should not be afraid to take it personally. No, I don`t mean wallow in it, let it damage your self-esteem or give up. I mean that when you are evaluating why your product or service was rejected, don`t be afraid to look in the mirror.
    Sales at the most basic level is about building a relationship between people and is therefore personal. So when I am evaluating why a prospect is choosing to not be a client I look at the personal stuff too. I look at what I may or may not have done to further the relationship. I may conclude that I`m not going to make any changes and that`s ok. I may conclude that I need to change the verbiage in a letter, develop a more focused advertising campaign or be a better listener.
    The bottom line is the only control I have is over what I do. I do not have control over the prospect. I am the one responsible for my business and that may mean making some personal as well as professional changes. If we aren`t afraid to look at how we can improve professionally, we shouldn`t be afraid of looking at how we can improve personally. Just don`t let it leave you "bloody, bruised or broken," let it leave you healthier and stronger.
    I guess what I am trying to say and perhaps not very clearly or succinctly is that business, especially via the internet has gotten too impersonal for my taste. We can`t forget that the fancy web sites and creative taglines are bringing people not businesses to our "door". I don`t believe in "B2B" sales - it`s all P2P sales.


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    OnTrayOnTray subscriber Posts: 4
    Sandra and Cherie,
    Thank you both for sharing.  I truly have grown from this.  I have changed my web site a bit to show that OnTray CAN be used in conjunction with a fabric seat cover, and I am addressing it up front so the company I may be talking with knows that this is an issue.  I am excited to see what this does.  Thanks again ladies.
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    OnTrayOnTray subscriber Posts: 4
    That`s a great point.  I`m learning.  I continue to figure out ways to do things better than I did before.  Some day I`ll get it right !
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