Make 2019 the year you really get to know "no."

Make it the year that you get turned down by more prospects, try and fail to "upsell" more clients, lose out on more bids, miss out on more opportunities, come up short on more proposals, and attempt unsuccessfully to close more deals than ever before.

In short, make it the year that you "fail" more.

Why? Because only when you put yourself out there more, can you fail more. And only when you put yourself out there more, can you succeed more.

Business professionals tend to be far too skittish when it comes to presenting themselves and their services. Many are reluctant to pursue larger opportunities, network with higher caliber prospects, reconnect with former clients, bid on more and/or bigger projects, suggest longer term contracts, request higher compensation, and enter more competitions.

That’s because they’re petrified, horrified, and mortified of the word "no." That word surfaces often when times are tough. They don’t realize that "no" may simply mean: "Not now." Or "not yet." Or, even, "Tell me more."

Chances are you’ll encounter the word "no" if and when you raise your prices in 2019, and buyers voice their objections. Savvy professionals appreciate, rather than try to avoid those objections. They realize that they are a buying signal.

A prospect or customer wouldn’t take the time to question your fees if she’s disinterested. You have a 30 percent better chance of closing a deal when at least some price objections are raised.

Don’t follow the lead of those business pros who respond to rejection by retreating. Don’t give into the temptation to economize, and cut back or even cut out marketing at a time you should ramp it up. Understand that quitting has consequences. When companies disappear, they die.

Every time you contact a prospect, submit a proposal, offer your services, raise your rates, promote a new product, present a program, or seek financial support, you risk rejection. But you also boost your odds for success.

Sales is a numbers game, and the "daily dozen" is one of the best ways to play it. The rules are simple.

Every day you reach out to — and ask for business or leads from — at least 12 people you need to know: prospects, allied professionals, vendors and suppliers, ex-clients, bloggers and others. Along with the rejections, and you’ll get plenty of those, you’ll also get rewards.

If you want to reap more rewards in the coming year, you’ll have to take more risks. And one of the risks you run is that you’ll try something and fail.

So what? Said Tom Watson, former IBM chairman: "If you want to succeed, double your failure rate."

Author Jack Canfield suggests that every time you hear "no," you should say, "next." Pick yourself up, dust yourself off, and move on.

Catch yourself saying a lot of "next's" in the year ahead. That means you’ll be hearing a lot of "nos." That means you’ll be putting yourself out there more. And that means you’ll be enhancing your chances for success.