I planned the topic of this post and actually wrote it well before my recent auto purchasing experience.  Lo and behold the salesman that we told ‘no’ ended up calling 22 times in a 25 minute period – how’s that for a first impression?

This past week we talked about boundaries, planning to recharge, debunking personal branding myths (especially across cultures) and even about thought leadership and it’s definition (did you agree with, Jun?)

Here’s last week’s insights:

This week Pete continues his series on being incredibly productive every day, Mike shares how to ruin your reputation with human resources (oh no!), Heather gives you solid reason why your leadership stinks, and Jun highlights three entrepreneurs that use their reputation to garner customers.

We look forward to your feedback and comments!


First impressions speak for your brand, and are what generally influence how others view you and expect you to act in future endeavors. In their first impression experience, they see how you react to business situations, whether you’re shaking hands on a “yes” or being turned down with a “no”. And that impression will carry on in their minds forever. This means it’s important that you present the best impression, even when you’re being told “no”, because how you react will leave a lasting impression to the individual, their business and even their sphere of influence.

The impression of rejection

Rejection isn’t ever easy to accept, just like the little kid at the candy store whose mother said “no” to the extra candy bar, some might throw a tantrum, and those can be memorable. As we grow older, our actions may have changed, but the feelings associated may have not.

Accepting rejection and moving on shows that you’re committed to making your brand succeed. [tweet this]

That faith in your brand and what it does shows others that they too can trust in your brand to keep going even when faced with obstacles and dead-ends.


One good practice is to reflect on the situation. Why were you turned down? There could be numerous reasons, from the lack of a good referral to the simple reason that they weren’t interested in your offer. And remember that rejection isn’t personal. It’s business and everyone wants to do what’s right for them at the time.

Then, reflect on your successes. What did you do right? Were there certain circumstances? The variables can help you tune your approach when compared to your rejections. And each time you’re rejected, see it as an opportunity to better your pitch, prospect handling, timing and overall presence as a professional.

You’re not alone

And the most important thing to consider is that you’re not alone. Being rejected can leave you feeling isolated and alone. But, you’re not. Some of the world’s most successful brands and people were told “no” by everyone. Even Walt Disney was told his dream of an amusement park was destined to fail, but he persevered and stood by his brand, which is now one of the world’s most prominent and renowned.

So keep going

Making the right first impression says more than the “no” they just told you. Your attitude can lead to a “yes” in the future. So, what you need to do is learn from the situation, move on, and keep going. Stay motivated and have faith in your brand, because when you trust your brand, others will too.

Being rejected isn’t an easy situation to handle. And while the feelings can disrupt your focus, they shouldn’t hinder your faith in your brand’s success. So, when it comes to a first impression, whether you’re rejected or accepted, set yourself up as a business professional that trusts in the success of their brand.


Maria Elena Duron, is managing editor of the Personal Branding Blog, CEO (chief engagement officer) of buzz2bucks– a word of mouth marketing firm, and a professional speaker and trainer on developing social networks that work. She provides workshops, webinars, seminars and direct services that help create conversation, connection, credibility, community and commerce around your brand.  Maria Duron is founder and moderator of #brandchat – a weekly Twitter chat focused on every aspect of branding that is recognized by Mashable as one the 15 Essential Twitter Chats for Social Media Marketers.