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How many times are you going to clean your desk, really? You’ve done all kinds of filing, and you have sorted and resorted your email. You’ve sanitized the telephone, even though, as little as it has been picked up lately, there was no risk of it being dirty.

If you aren’t prospecting, there is a reason. Maybe you’re lazy, but I doubt it. Call reluctance kills. Get to the root of what’s causing your call reluctance, and get better.

You Don’t Believe

At the root of some salespeople’s call reluctance is the simple fact that they don’t believe. They don’t believe in their company, they don’t believe in their product, or they don’t believe in their service. Because they don’t believe, they don’t prospect.

Maybe your call reluctance developed over time. You won your dream client and the train came off of the track. Your operations staff dropped the ball. Now you are afraid to sell because you aren’t 100% sure that the same thing won’t happen again.

The truth of the matter is that no matter where you work and no matter what you sell, there are always going to be challenges in serving your dream clients. You will have rough starts, false starts, and missteps. You will always have to sell inside, even in the best of companies, even in the best of circumstances.

To overcome your lack of belief, you have to fall in love again. You have to believe, even when there is every reason to doubt. And you have to work to sell inside to remove all doubts.

You Don’t Believe You Are Value Creator

Some people can’t pick up the phone or prospect because they lack confidence. They don’t believe in their heart of hearts that they are a value creator. They don’t have a big enough vision of themselves.

Maybe prospecting would require you to engage with people in the boxes at or near the very top of the organizational chart. Maybe you would be challenged with business issues and problems that you don’t feel you are equipped to handle. You’re afraid to sell because you aren’t confident in your ability to be a value creator for your dream clients.

Even C-level executives deal with the internal voice that questions them as to whether they are really big enough for the positions they hold.

To overcome any shortcomings you have as a value creator, you have to develop the business acumen and the experience that builds confidence. You can build the business acumen by studying, but the experience is only gained by trying . . . and by sometimes failing. If you would be a value creator, you have an ethical obligation to call.

You Don’t Have the Right Language

Some salespeople can’t pick up the phone because they have no idea what they are going to say. They don’t have a script, they don’t have planned dialogues, and they don’t have any reasonably good language for the objections that they receive when they try to obtain commitments for their dream client’s time.

Maybe you have called people and struggled with what to say and how to say it. Maybe there have been questions, concerns, or objections that were thrown at you and that you struggled to handle. You know the next call will only bring more of the same.

To overcome this version of call reluctance, you need to develop the language, the scripts, and the planned dialogues that will give you the confidence to call. But know that even with the best language, asking for the first commitment, the commitment of time, is still going to be challenging even for value creators with killer business acumen.

It Doesn’t Mean Enough to You

Some salespeople suffer from a particularly nasty version of call reluctance. Their work just doesn’t mean anything to them. They don’t have goals. They don’t have a mission. They don’t have a vision. Their work simply doesn’t mean enough to them. There isn’t anything driving them to succeed.

There are lots of ways to pick up this form of call reluctance, including the twin killers that are cynicism and negativity.

To overcome this version of call reluctance, you have to find meaning. You have to find some mission, some vision, some meaning that you will throw yourself into. You have to find the passion to do more, to be someone more. You need to find something that will move you beyond simply going through the motions.


Is it possible that there is more than one reason some salespeople suffer from call reluctance?

Outside of not really being a salesperson, what are some of the other reasons some people may suffer from call reluctance?

When you are super passionate about what you sell, do you ever have trouble picking up the phone?

When you know you can create value, is it easier to prospect and call on your dream client?

How important is to have effective language?

How important is that your work be meaningful?

Sales 2011
Post by Anthony Iannarino on April 12, 2011

Written and edited by human brains and human hands.

Anthony Iannarino

Anthony Iannarino is an American writer. He has published daily at thesalesblog.com for more than 14 years, amassing over 5,300 articles and making this platform a destination for salespeople and sales leaders. Anthony is also the author of four best-selling books documenting modern sales methodologies and a fifth book for sales leaders seeking revenue growth. His latest book for an even wider audience is titled, The Negativity Fast: Proven Techniques to Increase Positivity, Reduce Fear, and Boost Success.

Anthony speaks to sales organizations worldwide, delivering cutting-edge sales strategies and tactics that work in this ever-evolving B2B landscape. He also provides workshops and seminars. You can reach Anthony at thesalesblog.com or email Beth@b2bsalescoach.com.

Connect with Anthony on LinkedIn, X or Youtube. You can email Anthony at iannarino@gmail.com

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