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How To Overcome Call Reluctance For Effective Telecalling

Published on September 10, 2021
Last modified on March 22, 2022
call reluctance

A cold call can be quite unnerving, especially when you have butterflies in your stomach right before you make it. Having butterflies in your stomach or having cold feet even thinking about making calls is nothing but call reluctance.

It’s common for sales representatives to experience this, but why? We will uncover the why as we progress through this article, as well as how to deal with this feeling of discomfort! 


What is sales call reluctance?

Sales call reluctance is a mental response to a perceived threat. Reluctance to make sales calls is not limited to new salespeople. The problem can also occur with the expert sales pros who have been working in the industry for years. However, if they wish to succeed, they must quickly overcome this feeling.

In a study by Behavioral Sciences Research Press, about 40% of salespeople report reluctance to make calls, despite years of sales experience and extensive product knowledge.


Sales Call Reluctance


Moving on, let’s take a look at what causes call reluctance in salespeople.


What causes sales call reluctance?

According to the book “The Psychology of Sales Reluctance”, 80% of new salespeople fail due to reluctance to call. Why does this feeling bother salespeople so much?

Here’s why:

Fear of call rejection

One enjoys engaging in positive group discussions, interactions, and group acceptance as a human being. But when they are rejected or ignored by a customer, prospect, or sales colleague, fear creeps in, making one nervous and anxious.

Moreover, one may feel like retreating because they feel incapable of dealing with such prospects or customers. Consequently, one becomes cautious about making sales calls in order to avoid experiencing those fearful rejections again.


Improper qualification of leads

A salesperson is a true consultant to their customers. But if they don’t determine whether their product or service is right for their prospects, then they definitely aren’t performing well.

Improper qualification of leads will not only result in the prospect wasting their time on something they don’t need, but the salesperson too will spend a lot of time and effort trying to sell to a person who is not even a potential customer in the first place. 


Lack of thorough product knowledge

As a salesperson, you need to know everything there is to know about the product or service your company offers. It is a grave mistake not to have this knowledge.

Your body language and inability to answer product related questions may show the customer that you have only half an understanding of what you are offering.

Consequently, the customer or prospect will reject you since he will think you are ineligible to sell him the product he is interested in. Therefore, it is crucial that salespeople have a strong knowledge of what they are selling.


Lack of practice

In sales, you learn a lot by interacting with customers. You gain a better understanding of the type of questions, issues, and general concerns of customers through experience.

As a new salesperson who has not engaged customers before and is simply assuming, you are likely to face challenges. Without sufficient experience and practice, you will find it difficult to deal with customers effectively, and this might result in them ignoring or rejecting your request for further discussion. 

Read Also: Complete Guide on Telecalling


Adverse effects of call reluctance on your sales career

Now that we know why salespeople experience call reluctance, let’s explore the effects it has on their sales career.

Decline in sales performance

Over time, you will lose a significant number of your leads if you do not find a solution to overcome call reluctance sooner. In addition, your sales performance will be severely damaged. Your sales metrics will show a mediocre performance that may negatively impact your career prospects. 

No promotion opportunities

Just like any other job position, an SDR grows in their company based on their performance. However, not overcoming sales call reluctance will not guarantee stability even in the current position. Consequently, they will lose out on opportunities for career advancement within the company.


How to overcome call reluctance?

Having a positive attitude is the first step towards overcoming call reluctance. Without it, it will be challenging to proceed. You will need perseverance, determination, and enthusiasm when prospecting once you have the right attitude. You must also realize that rejection is an inevitable part of the selling process.


Now let’s go through the ways in which you can overcome call reluctance in sales:

Justify your role as a salesperson

In your role as a salesperson, you need to understand and live up to your responsibilities. Having to communicate with prospects and customers on a regular basis is what a salesperson does.

Since you can’t incentivize everyone to buy your offering, you should be prepared to deal with customer backlash and rejection. Approach them confidently and do not underestimate your abilities. Do not let a simple rejection keep you from becoming a successful salesperson. Consider your failures and come back stronger.


Have product knowledge

Get a solid understanding of the products and services your company offers before you begin contacting prospects and customers. 

Ensure that you are one step ahead of your customers. In this way, you will be able to answer all their questions, concerns, etc., regarding your offering. 

Consequently, because the prospect knows that you are the right guide to walk him through the description and purchasing process, he will be more motivated to communicate with you. That means no rejection, only continued communication.

Recommended: How To Get Past The Gatekeeper While Telecalling To Increase Sales


Study your prospect

You should get a clear understanding of exactly what your potential customer is looking for before you call. Consider the following questions:

  • Do they need what I’m selling?
  • Is the person a decision-maker?
  • Is what I’m selling affordable for them?
  • Is there any competition I would likely face?

Once you know the answers to these questions, you will be able to speak confidently to your prospects, knowing what exactly they are looking for.


Focus on emotional benefits

As a sales development representative, your goal is to focus on how your product or service can benefit prospects. Only when you achieve this will you become a product evangelist and overcome call reluctance. 

When training salespeople, organizations need to focus beyond the financial benefits that products deliver, and also teach them the emotional benefits. When he is convinced about it, only then can he confidently reach out to more customers.



If you allow rejection to take control of your life, you will never succeed as a salesperson. Learn, practice, analyze, and reappear stronger to maximize your performance and close more sales leads.

Also, first, understand why you are experiencing call reluctance and work on overcoming that feeling in the best way possible. Your persistence will surely pay off.

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