Sales call reluctance can decimate your paycheck and ruin your career. Here’s what you can do about it.

Phone calls are a big part of almost any sales operation. There’s no way around that. As much as we love the convenience of emails and texts, people still want the ability to talk with another person. And that’s still how so many sales are made. That’s also why sales call reluctance is such a concerning issue for sales professionals. 

First, understand that this happens. Major league baseball players hit slumps. Professional musicians have bad shows. It’s not unreasonable for sales professionals to run into that wall. 

What is call reluctance, exactly? It’s pretty much what it sounds like. It can feel like a moment of panic or nervousness. It’s that fear of rejection coming through, which, evolutionarily speaking, is a big deal. Back in the early days of humanity, if you were rejected from your group, you were on your own for food and safety in a world that was anything but safe. 

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call reluctance

Find out where sales call reluctance comes from (and learn how to fix it)

The good news about sales call reluctance and that fear of rejection is that it often comes from a small number of specific reasons. First, though, give yourself a break. Getting mad at yourself or thinking you aren’t cut out for sales isn’t going to help anything. Remember, our brains are hard-wired to fear rejection. Our survival literally depended on group acceptance at one point. 

However, knowing some of the sources of this fear can help us conquer it. 

1. You don’t have a sales call script. This one’s easy to fix. Sometimes we just get tongue-tied or stuck. We don’t know what to say or whether we’ve remembered to include an essential piece of information. A sales script works like a charm for those issues. It helps keep us on track and takes some of the pressure off of worrying about the details. 

2. You don’t know the product or service. This can be a significant source of call reluctance. It’s hard to sell something if you don’t know it inside and out. And let’s be honest; it can feel challenging when potential customers ask difficult questions. That puts a big dent in the confidence levels. Again, though, this is an entirely solvable problem. It may take some time, depending on the complexity of your offering, but the more you know your product or service, the more confidence you’ll feel when you make those calls. 

3. You’ve been through a rough patch. This is, unfortunately, one of those spirals that can feel tough to climb out of. The more rejections you get, the more call reluctance you feel, leading to fewer calls and, therefore, fewer successful calls. Sometimes the best thing to do in this situation is to take a break. Maybe you can take a few days off. If not, try another approach to sales for a little while. Work on your emails, perfect your script, update your contact list, or read your favorite inspirational sales book. Don’t underestimate the power of the reset button. 

4. You aren’t prepared. This is another issue that’s easy to fix but will take a little time. Essentially, this situation is one in which you haven’t done your homework or gotten yourself organized. One very simple way to fix this is to take advantage of dialing software that helps you keep track of calls, customers, and appointments. 

5. You weren’t trained properly. This is the sum total of the first four reasons you may have sales call reluctance. It is possible to be trained well and still suffer from one of the other points, but without proper training, those four causes are pretty much guaranteed. What you do about this depends somewhat on what kind of organization you’re in and where you are within that organization. Here’s the good news, though. There are a ton of resources available to help you, whether you are a new salesperson or an experienced sales manager. You can look through our blog, read some classic sales books, or find a mentor. 

Sales call reluctance can deal a severe blow to your career if you let it. If you find yourself feeling anxiety and trepidation when you make calls, don’t ignore it. Take a moment, assess the situation, and determine what will work for you in moving forward. 

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