Rent the Runway
Today’s advice comes from a column Rent the Runway CEO Jennifer Hyman wrote for Fashionista.com:“Whether you’re an entrepreneur or you just want a promotion — you absolutely cannot accept no for an answer. Now listen closely. I am not advocating for you to argue as this will not change anyone’s mind. Rather, ask questions … And then LISTEN.”
Hyman worked alongside a friend from Harvard Business School, Jennifer Fleiss, to found Rent the Runway in 2009. The business allows women to rent designer clothes at a fraction of the retail price.
At one meeting, Hyman tried to pitch her idea to designer Diane von Furstenburg, who said parts of it simply wouldn’t work. Instead of dwelling on defeat, Hyman re-tooled the concept and emerged better for it.
She also learned to go into meetings with answers. For example, knowing that people might ask whether customers would find renting a dress off-putting, Hyman and Fleiss brought in videotaped endorsements of the service. So far investors have supplied the company $32 million.
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