Only the inexperienced frame a "no" that way. And whine about how much rejection there is in outside sales, pitching to the media, applying for jobs, and chasing after new accounts.
The operational reality is that the "no" is usually the only way we are going to get to "yes." That's because the "no" is jam-packed with data.
Those bits and pieces of data might include that we are barking up the wrong tree in terms of a market segment. In 2012, a communications boutique in uspcale Fairfield County, Connecticut turned me down for a lucrative assignment with elite prep schools. That's not a niche for a no-nonsense Jersey Girl.
Or we are positioning and packaging the pitch without clearly differentiating our services or product. It took about eight months of responding to help-wanted on Mediabistro.com, JournalismJobs.com, and Craigslist before I got it: Generalists not welcome. I had to return to the drawing board and figure out my edge.
Often, nothing is wrong. That particular editor just isn't interested. We review the pitch, maybe fine-tune it and try again and again. The phrase "it's a numbers game" can apply.
The bottom line is that this learning curve doesn't happen unless we are out there hustling. That's exactly why career counselers hammer for us to grab every interview we can. Afterward we reverse-engineer it for what we did poorly, what we should have done, and what was smart.