Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Rejection is the Key to Success

Mark Anderson had the idea first. At his Flickr account, he's posted some rejection slips and they're interesting to see. Rejection is a big part of the business and everyone gets them. Heck, I got one before 9am yesterday via e-mail!

There is a variety of rejection slips. Above is one that's most typical. "There is nothing here that we can use." Simple, direct.

I love that last one: "We are overstocked." Does that mean that there is a huge pile and they're tired of cartoons and didn't even look at the cartoon submission before stuffing it back in your SASE?

I dunno! And I still can't remember why I sent cartoons to the UAW.

This is from a magazine that no longer is in the market for cartoons. See how the rejection doesn't hurt as much when they color in a smiley face? You don't? Hmm. Me neither!

Here's one from The Spectator, a UK weekly. It's a postcard. The handwritten "V. Sorry!" was a nice gesture. It's whacky to shorten the four letter word to one letter, and then spell out the five letter word. Now that I think of it "Very S!" wouldn't owrk. Very WHAT? Very Silly, Very Stupid, Very Sexy, etc.

I had to call a colleague of mine who sells to The Spectator to ask whose illegible signature was. It was Michael Heath, the cartoon editor. Duh.

"I obviously know what style the Post is going for." But not enough to sell! Arrgh!
And now that I look at it, I realize I've never drawn a fishing cartoon. Well, THERE'S your problem, Lynch!

"... We just didn't laugh hard enough." Damned with faint praise by The Funny Times! At least they send you a Flash Rosenberg cartoon.

So, there you have it. Some rejection slips. Does it depress you? Well, I don't take any of this to heart.
Here's my story of a crummy high school summer job to cheer you up:

When I was a kid I worked in one of those phone sale boiler rooms. We were selling Cleveland Press subscriptions. I hated it. Who wants to be one of these people who calls strangers at home to sell stuff? Who wants to be a telemarketer? It was the only job I could find and I needed the money.

There was one guy who sold a lot more than anyone else. I couldn't figure it out. He got lists of phone numbers like we did and dialed like we did -- but he sold a lot! And he was just a year older than I was. So, I asked him how he did it. He was a real nice guy (not always a plus in the telemarketing industry -- making his success more baffling to me) and he told me his theory. He said the reason he aold more was because he called a lot more people in an hour. If someone said no, he said "OK" and went to the next phone number. He logged almost twice as many calls as anyone else.

His theory was that you would get a certain number of sales out of 100 phone calls, and the idea was to not waste time with the people who said "no." "For every person who says no, you are that much closer to the sale." What a good attitude.

The Cleveland Press went out of business, but I bet this guy went on to big things.

Resolved: You gotta get the rejections to get the sales!

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