Call reluctance is something that almost every salesperson can feel at some point. Sure, it is no problem to pick up the phone and call warm contacts or leads. But when it is time to make the true cold calls where the prospect does not know who you are, there can often be an uneasy feeling.

This feeling can be so extreme that it actually prevents a call from getting made. We will provide some thoughts here on how to decrease call reluctance from happening for yourself or your sales teams.


Fear of Rejection

The main and most basic factor feeding into call reluctance is the natural fear of rejection. It is understandable for this fear to be there because, in sales, you are guaranteed to be rejected.

This has nothing to do with your skills or abilities as a salesperson. You are simply going to talk to many prospects that don’t need what you have to offer. And the reality is that nobody really enjoys being rejected. It does not feel good at all and some people learn to deal with that feeling better than others.

You could say that the rejection is sometimes a little sharper or more intense when cold calling, as the person on the other end of the phone could be a little more harsh or abrupt. Maybe the rejection would be a little softer or more polite if you were having the same conversation in person.

Either way, this knowledge that rejection is a very likely outcome is what fuels the call reluctance. Here are four things to keep in mind to try to combat these thoughts and negative feelings:

  1. It is nothing personal against you when someone rejects the product you are trying to sell.
  2. There is no physical harm or pain that will result from rejection.
  3. Not everybody will fit well with what you are trying to sell.
  4. You are accomplishing something when you get rejected, as you have identified one person to take off of your list.


Lack of Confidence

The other factor that can fuel call reluctance is a lack of confidence that you will be able to do all the right things if you get the prospect on the phone.

This is understandable because cold calling is downright difficult. You have a couple of minutes to work with, you have a lot of products to sell and information to share, and on top of that, the prospect does not usually answer the phone welcoming your call.

The fix for this is to improve your level of preparation. By being more prepared, you will be more confident. Here are a few ways to improve your level of preparation:

  1. Create a call script or call outline to use as a guide
  2. Role-play your script or pitch
  3. Have a plan for objections by creating responses for the objections that you can anticipate
  4. Have a list of the key questions that you want to ask