Unfortunately, every business owner eventually encounters critics…people who only have negative things to say about you or your business. Sometimes these comments come from complete strangers, but sometimes they come from those who are closest to you. And it can be discouraging! Fortunately, you are not the first (and far from the last!) to deal with critics as an entrepreneur, and there is lots of wisdom to be gained from those who have “been there, done that.”
We asked our community on our Facebook Page to share some of their experiences. Here is some of the great advice they shared:
- Find misconceptions, and share the facts. Howard Fidler from Minnesota writes: “Find out what their objection is and then give them facts to overcome it,” and Marcia Flach from Texas suggests: “Ask them questions!” This is always a great strategy. By asking specific questions you can uncover the reason for the criticism. It may be that the person you’re talking to misunderstands some aspect of your business or is making certain incorrect assumptions. By providing facts that counter the misconception, you can overcome the objection and possibly create a new customer or business partner.
- Respect differences of opinion. Occasionally, you and the critic may just disagree on certain points. And that’s OK too. Respect their right to disagree with you, and leave things on a friendly note. You never know when, down the line, someone may have a change of heart. If you’ve left the door open and friendly, they may eventually come back to you! As Mark Arsenault from California says, “Be pleasant, then go achieve massive success!”
- Know when to move on. Sometimes you need to realize that no matter what you say, someone doesn’t want to hear your side. And that’s OK. There are plenty of other people who will be open to learning more about your business. As both Robyn Mohs from Montana and Christina Ortiz from Texas shared…”Next!”
- Refuse to dwell on negativity. Sometimes, even after the critic has stopped talking, we continue to think about what he or she said, running it over and over in our minds. And too much of this can stop you in your tracks. Don’t let it keep you from focusing on your own success. John Taylor advises: “Move on. Life is too short to deal with Negativity!!!!”
Finally, we leave you with these wise words from Kelley Michelle Barnett of Texas: “I was told to accept the word no, put a smile on and deal with it because when you least expect it you will get a yes and straight up positive.” Good advice indeed!
How do you deal with people who criticize your business? We’d love to read your advice in the comments below!