The Other Rejection – How Salespeople Struggle to Cope


Five years ago, Passive Rejection wouldn’t have been an article topic because back then, it was rare to not get your repeated calls returned.  By contrast, today it’s unusual when a prospect returns one of your first 5 voicemail messages!

Let’s take a deeper look into Passive Rejection.  If Passive Rejection is akin to being ignored, then what is it about being ignored that causes the problem?

I gave this some thought and identified the following 10 reactions to Passive Rejection:

  1. Fear – What if I never reach this person?
  2. Anger – How rude!
  3. Abandonment – They don’t want me in their life…
  4. Hurt – How could they do this to me?
  5. No Respect – If they respected me, they would call me.
  6. Distrust – They haven’t returned my calls, so I don’t trust them.
  7. Approval – They don’t love me!
  8. Self-Importance – I don’t have time for this!
  9. Self-Image – I’m not very happy with myself right now.
  10. Revenge – They haven’t returned my calls, so I won’t call them.  Hmmph.
As you can see, the other rejection, Passive Rejection, is simply another trigger for salespeople to become emotionally involved, a hidden weakness which I touched on in yesterday’s article about chain reactions.  So, when a salesperson experiences Passive Rejection, the severity of emotional involvement increases, as each of these reactions kick-in, until the salesperson has effectively been neutralized.  Emotional Paralysis would be an appropriate phrase to describe what happens at this point, where the salesperson is no longer able to function in the sales role until they have finally recovered.  OMG’s long-standing finding of Difficulty Recovering from Rejection would come into play here.  Do you have salespeople who don’t seem to have enough conversations and new meetings each day?  Do they claim to be doing the work?  Could they be suffering from Passive Rejection?
As it becomes more and more difficult to reach prospects whose priorities make it impossible to be reached, Passive Rejection and the resulting Emotional Involvement play larger roles among the many weaknesses that interfere with a salesperson’s ability to perform.
Photo Credit – Fever Pitch on PhotoDune