Overcoming Call Reluctance

overcoming call reluctance

Call Reluctance

Call reluctance, or any reluctance at all, ultimately stems from an individual’s perceived lack of preparation, competence, or confidence to handle an unknown situation or task competently.

Throughout my sales career, I have heard all the excuses in the book when it comes to the reasons why reps do not want to make phone calls. Call reluctance happens to all of us. But most reps come up with these excuses:

  • The phone numbers are not valid
  • People don’t answer their phones… email and LinkedIn messages work better

Without a doubt, each of those has a genesis in that the sales rep is not feeling competent and confident to call a complete stranger and even more so… ask for something. Sales sucks, it’s never easy getting started. Even for seasoned reps, it doesn’t get easier – you just get better at it.

Conversational Intelligence Software has tried to solve this by pointing managers and reps to specific areas that can be coached. However, when the phone starts ringing and the nerves kick in, the sales coaching that has been done up to that point usually goes out the window.

When we talk with sales leaders, the answer to overcoming call reluctance is to increase the volume of connections. This is usually accomplished via a power dialer like Orum, or ConnectandSell.

Sure, that would be great if it actually worked.

The rationale for sales leaders taking on this strategy is that if my sales reps are able to have fifty conversations a day, as opposed to just eight to ten, they will have the opportunity to practice more. This leads to more confidence and competence.

The Problem With Approaches To Call Reluctance

The main problem with the strategy of increasing the volume of connections is that it completely ignores human behavioral patterns and the psychology of success and failure.

When humans succeed (or fail) they receive feedback loops. If I do this, and this, in that order then this is the outcome (good or bad). Conversational intelligence software does an amazing job at pointing out that repetitive behavior but does nothing to interrupt the pattern (especially if it’s leading to failure).

So how do you interrupt the pattern?

Well first, let’s identify the outcome that happens if you follow the behavioral pattern above. Instead of failing on eight or ten phone calls, reps are now failing on fifty phone calls.


Maybe a rep doesn’t feel too beat up after only failing in the single digits, the chances of them wanting to come back for more tomorrow is next to nothing.

Interrupting The Pattern With Sales Coaching

Sales coaching has changed. So let’s use technology to help your sales reps overcome call reluctance.

You know our answer is going to be using real-time call coaching software. Conversational intelligence software just doesn’t cut it for what sales reps need nowadays.

Real-time call coaching software gives gentle reminders of what sales reps likely already know, it reinforces their instinct and training to handle objections. How many times have you felt like you knew the answer to something, but were not 100% confident which led to a stumbled attempt at booking a meeting?

It’s happened to all of us.

Imagine a world where you are faced with an objection, you are 90% confident you know how to handle it and a Recommended Response card pops up, reinforcing that knowledge and empowering you to confidently propel through that objection.

Pretty cool, right?

That is the beauty of leveraging this type of software to overcome call reluctance with sales reps. It helps to build confidence, and competence every step of the way while acknowledging the basic elements of human psychology that reactive, conversational intelligence software ignores. Simply going back and through “the game tape” after the opportunity has already been lost is like rubbing salt in an open wound.

Ouch, it burns!

Sales reps already know they lost the deal or failed to book the meeting. Replaying it in front of their entire team or being forced to relive it in a 1:1 does nothing to instill confidence or competence.

Sales is already stressful enough, now add even more disappointment and humiliation. Not the best combination to help your sales reps succeed.

How about you step up your sales coaching game and take a look at real-time call coaching software for your team? Focus on improving your team’s conversations first, and win at a small scale first.

Make sure that your team is optimized and efficient at your current number of connections per day before increasing it exponentially.

Real-time call coaching software is the perfect blend of technology, interwoven with an understanding of human psychology.