How to Overcome Call Reluctance in Sales

What is it about making calls that salespeople hate? The dictionary definition of reluctance is:

‘Unwillingness or disinclination to do something’

Given that making calls is a large part of the salespersons’ job, does it mean that most salespeople are unwilling to do their job?

We think not, although we also believe that most salespeople will face call reluctance at one time or another. 

What is call reluctance?  It’s a form of fear:

§  Fear of failure.

§  Fear of rejection.

§  Fear of the unknown

Call reluctance can be some or all of these things. It can lead to a downward spiral that causes us to make excuses, such as:

   ‘Haven’t had time to call’

   ‘Didn’t get around to making calls’

   Wrong time of the day / week. Too early / too late. Too whatever!

This downward spiral of call reluctance can cause us as salespeople to invent imaginary obstacles that simply aren’t there. After all, what’s the worst thing that can happen to us when we’re on the phone?

So what do we do about it? First, we need to realise that call reluctance is a symptom not a problem, so it’s absolutely within our control to do something about it. If you feel that you’re suffering from call reluctance here are a few things you can do:

·         Review past successes in making calls and remind yourself how you felt when you had these successes.

·         Visualise what good might look like. I’m a long-term squash player and visualising good plays before matches is a very powerful tool.

·         Learn the correct calling skills to increase your chances of success.

·         Believe in yourself to take the appropriate action.

·         Make sure you fully research your prospects before calling them. Look at their website, LinkedIn profile and so on. Learn everything there is to know about them. 

As Amelia Earhart once said ‘The best way to do it is to do it’. Stop procrastinating, pick up the phone and get on with it!



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Brendan Walsh