Monday, December 13, 2010

Salespersons and rejection: a psuedo-scientific speculation

Some beleive that the ability to overcome objections and rejections are the most important salesperson abilities. The succesfull salesperson is the one who is able to overcome the emotional issues after the next rejection.

How can be predicted if someone is going to become a good salesperson or not? Can we know from a single interview if someone will be able to overcome the rejections and continuing to pursue his objectives.

Basic theory:
The Attachment theory suggests that children rejected by their parents are likely to develop rejection sensitivity. In other words they are more likely to become vulnarable to social rejections. The rejection sensitivity is described as tendency to anxiously expect, readily perceive, and over-react to social rejection.
The rejection sensitivity can be also developed in response to a peer social rejection in the childhood. There is tendency that the rejection (once developed ) in the childhood is stable and difficult to overcome for the child. The rejection tendency can remain active event if the child is moved to another school for example. The eventual explanation of this phenomenon is that the peer groups create reputational biases that act as stereotypes and influence subsequent social interaction. This can be further analyzed by using some of the concepts behind the Labeling theory.

People rejected by their parents or people with relatevly low popularity among their peers in the childhood are more likely to develop stable social rejection tendency. It means that such people are more likely to have difficulties in overcoming the rejections from their potential customers.

It is almost impossible to get complete track of the a person history back to the childhood in a single work interview. However, one possible approach to predicit if a person is more likely to fail as a salesperson is to perform series of social phsychology tests in the form of games during the interview. Such a tests can "measure" the level of the rejection sensitivity and to "capture" the basic behavioural approaches uses by the individual to overcome the rejection effect.

For example a good candidate for such experiments are variants of the "ball toss" and "cyberball" paradigms developed originally by Dr. Kipling D. Williams.

Social rejection
Labeling theory
Attachment theory
Cyberball game

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