Three Ways to Overcome Your Fear of Making Prospecting Calls

Feeling happy and fulfilled at work is essential to our overall success. Many sales people are required to make proactive prospecting calls, and it can be one of the most intimidating aspects of their job. However, having the fear of making the call is nothing to be embarrassed about. In fact, Shannon Goodson and George Dudley reported in their book Psychology of Sales Call Reluctance that 80 percent of new salespeople fail because of call reluctance, while 40 percent of veteran sales people stop prospecting because of it.

If you experience Sales Call Reluctance, you know that it can ruin how you feel about your job and it fills you with an instant sense of dread every time you go to pick up the phone. If you feel like this, you are experiencing one of the 12 types of Sales Call Reluctance. Not only can this affect your ability to succeed at your job, but it can also affect your overall sense of career satisfaction and fulfillment.

Unfortunately, our culture tends to stereotype salespeople in a negative way. Some people think of the sleazy over the top salesperson and this could not be further from the truth. The truth is that sales is a very noble profession and requires a specific set of skills. A good sales force is often the most important factor behind a company’s growth and success.

A surprising fact is that the number one carriers of Sales Call Reluctance are sales managers, sales trainers, and motivational speakers. This is not to say that everyone in this group carries sale call reluctance but you would surprised how easily this group can negatively influence those they are meant to inspire. For example, in a training a sales manager says, “We all know people hate talking to sales people” or “Get out and sell, but don’t be a salesperson!” They are instilling Role Rejection Sales Call Reluctance from the very beginning and fostering a sense of shame about selling. Role Rejection is highly contagious and the managers can be contaminating the very people they intend to inspire. We see this consistently within companies.

Here are three basic tips to overcoming your fear of making prospecting calls:

[wcm_restrict]Respect the salesperson: Organizational leaders must respect and invest in their sales force and honor them for the work they do for the company. You can start by fostering a sense of pride in accomplishments and this will transform your culture as a whole. Everyone in the company must respect and recognize the work of the sales team.

Recently after working with a company comprised of mostly engineers and program managers who tested as having an inordinate amount of Role Rejection Call Reluctance throughout the company, including the CEO, VPs and managers; we recommended that they start seeing themselves as a ‘sales organization’ that happens to make communication systems versus their revenue being generated by their “operations division.” This is a major shift in their mindset and culture. However, if they are going to survive the major challenges in their industry, they must embrace selling or they will surely fail.

Rethink fear of rejection: Fear of rejection is one of the most common fears a person can experience. We have all been there, and it stems from internal causes. The most important thing a salesperson can do is transform the way they think about selling. Sales people must focus outward and concentrate on how their product or service helps the customer they are speaking with. A good sales person should focus on not only the financial benefit of what they are selling but the emotional and spiritual benefit as well. When you truly understand the value of what you are selling and the problem you are solving for your prospects, your mind is transformed and you become an evangelist. A good salesperson should feel a responsibility to reach out and make the call. Solving peoples programs for a profit is okay. It’s selling!!!

Emotionally detach from the outcome: Just because a prospecting call doesn’t result in an appointment, it doesn’t mean it was a failure. This is the exact type of thinking that breeds Sales Call Reluctance. Focus on the positives of each experience. Perhaps you learned something new on the horizon in their industry sector, or that you recognized that you missed an important cue that you will correct next time, or you asked them if you could follow up in the future. Sales is a process. Appreciate each conversation and think of each prospecting call as a chance to learn, improve, and perfect your process.

Be crystal clear on your overall objective. Hold it firmly in your awareness. Do everything in your power to achieve your goal, however, emotionally detach from the outcome. It’s like the baseball player who stands at home plate with the intention to hit the ball to third base. The pitcher pitches the ball, the player hits it to third base. However, the third baseman runs over the catches the ball. Did the player achieve his goal? Absolutely! He hit the ball to third base as he intended. He could not control the third-baseman. Just like prospecting, we make the calls and do our best, however, we cannot control our prospect’s response. That is an example of emotional detachment.

Sales Call Reluctance is a registered trademark of Behavioral Sciences Research Press.[/wcm_restrict][wcm_nonmember]

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About the Author

Connie KadanskyConnie Kadansky is a professional certified Sales Call Reluctance coach and President of Exceptional Sales Performance. She offers speaking, training, coaching and performance improvement services specifically addressing Sales Call Reluctance. She has a proven track record with diverse businesses, from entrepreneurs to Fortune 50 companies, both nationally and internationally. She credits her current status as a speaker to her longtime involvement with Toastmasters International and the National Speakers Association. Connie is a graduate of one of the most respected and accredited coaching schools, Adler School of Professional Coaching. She served as Vice President of Programs for the Phoenix Chapter of International Coaching Federation in 2011. For more information, please visit

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