Pick Up The Darn Phone! 5 Types of Call Reluctance

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Podcast Interview with David I Hill “Pick up that Darn Phone!!”


Fear of Rejection

Hands down, this is one of the biggest problems salespeople face and the top reason they are hesitant to pick up the phone. This type of call reluctance tends to create the most anxiety around cold calls! Talking to someone on the phone creates more of a connection than other communication mediums, but it can also make rejection seem more personal. The word here is seem because rejection in sales shouldn’t feel personal.

Lack of Role Acceptance

It’s hard to deny that salespeople sometime get a bad rap. Whether it’s being overly aggressive and hounding customers to buy or not having customers’ best interests at heart, a few bad apples have spoiled some customers’ impression of sales. Not to mention that plays and movies like Glengarry Glen Ross often serve as reinforcement of negative stereotypes. Even when salespeople want to help customers, sometimes they feel uncomfortable selling their product, service or themselves. My good friend and business coach John Alexandrov brought this form of call reluctance to my attention.

Not Knowing what to Say

This is a big one because it is so closely tied to confidence. If you aren’t sure how to answer questions or respond to objections, of course you’re going to be a little nervous to pick up the phone. Even if you’re sales veteran, this form of call reluctance can reappear whenever you start selling a new product or service, or if your manager wants you to adjust your presentation to highlight different selling points.


Some people are prone to over-thinking things. Unfortunately, when you analyze every possible scenario, especially what could go wrong, you’re likely to psyche yourself out. The longer you prepare for a single call, the fewer calls you’ll end up making and the less you’ll get done. It’s important to become so comfortable with calling prospects that you don’t need to over-analyze it. Some salespeople who aren’t over-analyzers by nature can become that way as a form of procrastination.It’s important to watch out for this unhealthy behavior and stop it early on.

Fear of Success

This cause of call reluctance might seem strange, but it’s real. When you do something differently, like make more sales, things change. Your win rate, commission, and your place in the pack all change as you become a sales leader. That can be scary for several reasons. First off, you might have to keep calling people because it’s working so well, and that might not be something you think you want to do. You also set the bar higher for yourself and supervisors or sales managers may expect you to operate at the higher standard, which can be hard work.


Did any of the sources of call reluctance feel familiar to you right away? If so, write it down now. If you could relate to multiple sources include them all. The first step is awareness.

Over the next week or two, keep a journal next to you as you make calls. Before each call, jot down what’s on your mind before you pick up the phone. This will help you uncover any other causes of call reluctance you might not have realized were holding you back. Before you move on any further, go get yourself a journal or notebook. Seriously, do it now! This is going to make a huge difference. You don’t have to marry the idea of keeping a journal – just date it for a few weeks and see how it feels. This will be the 1st step in overcoming you’re call reluctance.



David Hill is a leading expert on telephone prospecting to increase sales and author of the upcoming book The Sales Playbook, which will be published in Spring 2016.

Pick Up The Darn Phone!

  • Are people afraid of the phone?
  • Do people hide behind email and social media?
  • What is the biggest challenge sales people face when it comes to using the phone?
  • How would someone know if they had any of these problems?
  • If someone does feel they are dealing with a form of reluctance what would be the 1st step in moving forward?

To learn more about David Hill and his upcoming book The Sales Playbook, please visit www.davidihill.com

This podcast is presented by Annie Jennings, of the National Publicity Firm, Annie Jennings PR and the creator of JenningsWire online magazine. JenningsWire is capturing the heart of America with its rich community of talented, insightful and relevant bloggers and podcasters! Please visit Jenningswire.com and discover the blogger just right for you.

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