Call reluctance phobias and cures

By Ernest Falkner III

Zillion Dollar Thinking


Demonstrating your process will really help to take the focus off of you and your product/service and highlight how you operate beneficially for your clients. That results in the rejection potential becoming more impartial and far more objective. Your process can be the major link in proving your authenticity and in lessening your fears.

Everyone who prospects in the selling business will experience call reluctance from time to time. Although there are several reasons, many experts say the primary ones can be broken down into two distinct categories: repeated failure and repeated rejection.

Repeated failure

Atychiphobia: fear of failure phobia

The first reason for call reluctance is the fear of repeated failure. This can happen when the salesperson attempts to schedule appointments with the contacts on a prospect list and is repeatedly turned down. When the salesperson continues to fail to schedule the appointment, the next contact becomes harder because of the increasing fear of failure.

Repeated rejection

Agathoraphobia: fear of rejection phobia (related to)

The second reason for call reluctance is the fear of rejection. When a salesperson calls on a prospect (by phone or in person), usually they will ask a series of probing questions. Often, the prospect may become defensive, negative or will even cease communicating with the salesperson.

Following that response, many times the salesperson will feel rejected. Even though it is the product or service that is the subject of rejection, many salespeople will take it personally. Ultimately, the fear of being rejected may potentially stop the salesperson from prospecting (often ending their career).

Then what?

Way back in the day I read a book called "The Influence of Fear on Salesmen," by Frank Budd. I was driven to this and other resources because I moved from being an independent producer to a sales manager.

Oddly enough, I discovered that it was not just me who was struggling with this issue. Many on our team were also experiencing the same problem. And, if I could point to one book and methodology that offered a turning point, it was Budd’s book and his message.

Budd’s antidote to fear boiled down to this: being authentic.

The definition of authenticity: undisputed credibility, genuineness, legitimacy, believability, the quality of being believable or trustworthy.

Enter the “process”

Following a process methodology is: “Initially you may not trust me, but you may well trust my process” (which is a far more objective start). Demonstrating your process will really help to take the focus off of you and your product/service and highlight how you operate beneficially for them. That results in the rejection potential becoming more impartial and far more objective. Your process can be the major link in proving your authenticity and in lessening your fears.

If you do not have a process

It would not be too surprising. Even after all these years and a plethora of sales training programs, many do not include the step of demonstrating how you operate to your prospect’s benefit. Consequently, that step will be the first object to be evaluated. If that meets resistance, it’s your option to continue.

If you elect to not proceed, walk away and carry more confidence from having been completely authentic in presenting your factual process to the prospect. Over time, your fears can be replaced with confidence. That may be one of the keys for long term success in the selling business.

And finally, if you would be interested in a template of a process, please message me.

As always…you decide.