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Sales Call Reluctance – Why it Happens & How to Get Rid of It!

“I have a group of 10 sales reps, all with varying degrees of experience. At any time, it seems one or more will be suffering from call reluctance. How does that happen, and more importantly, how do we get rid of it for good!?”

Overcoming Call Reluctance

As a straight commission salesperson for about 20 years now, I can confidently say that call reluctance directly results from failing to meet one’s expectations.

You start with excitement, taking on the challenge to “win a sale,” but call after call, the rejections pile up, and enthusiasm dwindles.

In short, the salesperson is failing to meet their (and their company’s) set expectations. 

In sales, this happens for one of two reasons:

  • The salesperson is using a failed sales process. Or…
  • The salesperson is not executing a proven sales process correctly.

Confidence comes when using a proven sales process in each phase of the sales call (openers/qualifying/presenting/closing). If you are using incorrect sales techniques, your rejection rate will be high, and call reluctance will set in.

When you are using a proven sales process, and you hear a final “NO,” and the sale is over and you lost, your confidence isn’t shaken because of one of these three things:

1) They Aren’t a Good Fit.

You executed the sales process to a “TEE,” and the bottom line is that he/she isn’t an actual candidate for what you offer. You don’t want to sell something to someone that genuinely can’t benefit from what you offer, just so that you can hit your numbers. You’re better than that.

2) You Made a Mistake.

You made a mistake, you know it, and you learned from it. We ALL make sales mistakes. The difference is if you are following a proven sales process, and you don’t win the sale, you will be able to pinpoint your error and learn from it. Education is expensive. Making sales mistakes is just another form of training – as long as you learn from them.

It’s essential to take ownership of your mistakes rather than point fingers or blame someone or something else. You can only learn from your mistakes if you are willing to admit them and seek how to avoid making them again in the future.

3) Timing Truly Wasn’t Right, Right Now.

Sometimes you can have the perfect solution for your prospects, and the timing may not be appropriate now for them to make a move. If you act appropriately, you will still get the deal. It just might not be in your time frame. But don’t worry, when the deal does come in, you’ll be glad it did, even if it’s after your quarterly numbers are turned in. (There’s always a new quarter that you’ll need new sales for)

However, when you use a sales process that fails more often than it works, and you are unsure why the last thing you want to do is pick up the phone to have your BUTT handed to you. And that’s when call reluctance walks in.

Two-Step Solution if You Have Call Reluctance

So, you have call reluctance, and you want to get rid of it… Here’s what you do:

  • Record your sales calls. Often, what you “think” you are saying and what you are saying may be different. Listening to your own sales calls may help you “hear” what needs to be done differently all on your own.
  • Find someone you trust that is AT THE TOP OF HIS/HER GAME and ask them to listen and give feedback.

It’s important to avoid taking advice from others that have yet to achieve what it is that you are after. The world is full of people that will tell you what and how to do something. Listening to those who have already achieved what you are after is the safest place to start your journey to higher achievements.

– Michael Pedone

Michael Pedone teaches inside sales teams how to pick up the phone and close business. He is the CEO/FOUNDER of SalesBuzz.com – An online sales training company.