How to Overcome Sales Call Reluctance with the Right Tactics

You are about to pick up your phone to dial the next phone number of your prospect and suddenly start thinking about what if the client says ‘No’ to buying your products or services. This is the most common feeling we get before cold calling prospects.

Whenever we call prospects, we fear hearing ‘No’ or any other reason from them for not purchasing our products. This is known as Call Reluctance Syndrome, better known as Call Reluctance. Call reluctance is inevitable before cold calling prospects because you haven’t talked to them before.

Cold calling is important to get more sales and generate more revenue for a business. You can’t always be in fear of not calling prospects. You have to come out of your comfort zone, take the initiative, and call them. It might seem simple in the first place, but it may not be. No worries! We are here to help you in this situation and overcome this.

We have created a detailed and informative guide on sales call reluctance. This guide talks about everything you need to know about call reluctance. This guide has tried to cover each aspect of call reluctance, including its types, ways to overcome call reluctance, and many more. This in-depth guide also talks about the best ways and practices to overcome call reluctance.

Continue reading ahead and learn everything in detail about Sales Call Reluctance.

What Is Sales Call Reluctance?

Reluctance refers to hesitating or being unwilling to perform specific tasks or activities. In this phenomenon, people search for a ton of reasons not to perform a particular activity. One of the primary reasons behind this is hesitation. Hesitation could occur because of the fear of results, lack of preparation, fear of failure, etc. This is a basic overview of reluctance in general.

Let’s now understand call reluctance in terms of sales.

Call Reluctance Syndrome, better known as Call Reluctance, is a psychological state where salespeople fear reaching out to prospects and making phone calls. Before making the sales call, a sales representative experiences various emotions that indirectly discourage them from approaching clients via call.

For instance, some sales representatives feel nervous because they haven’t reached out to anyone like this before. Also, some salespeople hesitate to reach prospects because of the fear of rejection. They fear what if the prospect says ‘No’ to their offerings.

Besides these, there could be several other reasons for sales call reluctance. We will discuss more causes of Sales Reluctance in detail in the coming sections.

This is an overview of the sales call reluctance. Read the next section to know the types of sales call reluctance.

What Are the Types of Call Reluctance?

There are 16 types of sales call reluctance. However, some of them aren’t seen in the employees, whereas some are seen the most. In this section, we have talked about the most common and important type of sales call reluctance. Here are the ten most common sales call reluctance types:

  • Doomsayer
  • Over-Preparation
  • Oppositional Reflex
  • Stage Fright
  • Telephobia
  • Hyper-Pro
  • Yielder
  • Separationist
  • Referral Aversion
  • Arranging Payments

Let’s learn about each type in brief below.

1. Doomsayers

Doomsayers are one of the most common types of sales call reluctance found in salespeople. These kinds of representatives look for reasons to withdraw their attention and save their energy by not talking to the potential clients. It is observed that they don’t even try to reach out to potential customers and close the sale. This goes through a similar type of situation called sales stagnation. In this, salespeople don’t perform like they used to and don’t close the potential leads into paying customers like in the past.

2. Over-Preparation

As the name suggests, these types of reps prepare a lot before getting on the call but never convert them into actions. They spend plenty of time preparing what to say to the prospect during the call. But they never research about the prospect they will talk to. In short, they prepare extensively but never apply it. And this results in call reluctance.

3. Oppositional Reflex

Oppositional reflex is another most common sales call reluctance type. These types of sales representatives refuse to accept anything. They come with low-self esteem and high needs for approval. In addition, they never listen to someone’s advice. Besides, they don’t believe in taking training as they oppose everything they come across.

4. Stage Fright

In call reluctance, stage fright refers to fear or hatred of presenting or pitching your products or services to a group of people. They don’t like pitching to groups because of emotional discomfort. This is also the most widespread type of sales call reluctance.

5. Telephobia

As the name suggests, Telephobia refers to fears of using telephones or phones to make sales calls. However, these salespeople can easily talk to the prospect face-to-face without any hesitation.

6. Hyper-Pro

Hyper-Pro is also known as Hyper Professionals. The hyper-professional salespeople always self-doubt before making the call, which stops them from reaching prospects. They believe they aren’t good enough for this job and can’t manipulate someone’s thoughts and opinions to get a sale. It could be because of a skill gap, lack of attractive personality, lousy communication skills, or something else.

7. Yielder

Yielders are more likely to back out of a sale than take it to a satisfactory conclusion. These salespeople back out and do not complete the sale, even if they can complete the deal. They are known to be selfish and never mind their own business.

8. Separationist

These types of salespeople never suggest or advise someone because of the fear of conflict or rejection. They don’t like being into disputes, especially when suggesting to their close friends or family.

9. Referral Aversion

Referral aversion refers to the fear of asking referrals for more potential leads from their existing or past clients. They feel awkward asking for referrals from their existing clients. Yet, it doesn’t negatively impact sales representatives, affecting their future actions.

10. Arranging Payments

This refers to the fear of arranging payments from potential clients. Most salespeople fear that what if they finalize everything on the call with the client, but how will they ask for the money? Usually, these salespeople feel awkward asking for money from their prospects. Due to this fear, they decide not to get on a call with the prospect.

These are the ten most common types of sales call reluctance. Read the following section to know the signs of call reluctance.

What Are the Signs of Call Reluctance?

Fear of cold calling is genuine and also challenging to overcome. It is essential to know its indications first, rather than calling yourself ‘A Procrastinator’ or ‘Sales Call Reluctant.’ You will face countless different emotions during this entire situation. Here I have mentioned three signs of call reluctance in Sales. Please have a look at them below.

  1. The first sign of call reluctance is going through different emotions before calling the prospects. You may go through emotions like fear, embarrassment, shame, anxiety, guilt, and panic. Most of the time, novice sales representatives face these emotions before cold calling the prospect.
  2. Another sign of sales call reluctance is having negative thoughts and anticipating the results in advance. Many salespeople get negative thoughts like, ‘What If the Client Doesn’t Want the Product?’ ‘What If they Say No?’ or ‘What If they Turn Me Down Instead.’ They overimagine every worst circumstance in their heads before making the call. And this hinders them from reaching the client.
  3. The last sign is buying more and more time before every time they try to make the call. In short, they start procrastinating and find millions of reasons not to connect with the client.
What Are the Signs of Call Reluctance

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These are the most common signs of sales call reluctance. If you find any of these signs in you or your fellow colleague, now is the right time to overcome them. Continue reading this guide until the end to check how to overcome call reluctance in sales.

Read the following section to check the results of call reluctance in sales.

What Are the Results of Call Reluctance?

Companies employ salespersons to connect with cold leads and sell their products or services. The primary job of a salesperson is to sell more products and generate more revenue for the company. But call reluctance does the total opposite of this. It drastically affects business sales. No doubt, call reluctance in Sales can lead to the worst results you would have ever imagined.

Besides this, call reluctance has many other different effects as well. Check the effects of call reluctance in sales below.

  • Not able to meet monthly/quarterly/annual sales quotas
  • Termination of job
  • Loss of perspective across young sales talents
  • High-stress level of employees and management
  • Working in a toxic sales environment
What Are the Results of Call Reluctance

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These are the effects of call reluctance in sales on an employee and a business. Do you want to know the root causes of sales call reluctance? Read the next section to learn about the causes of call reluctance in sales.

What Are the Causes of Sales Call Reluctance?

There could be countless causes of sales call reluctance. Here, we have shared the most common causes of call reluctance.

1. Natural Fear Of Rejection

No doubt, we all are afraid of rejection. Nobody wants to hear ‘No’ from the other side of the call while offering something. This drastically impacts a salesperson’s confidence, which can stop his growth. The natural fear of rejection is the most common root cause of sales call reluctance. It is mainly seen in new sales representatives who have just started their careers in sales. Fear of rejection usually develops after a rejection.

It pushes salespeople to believe that they aren’t capable of this job and they can’t do it anymore. Once they get rejected, they inherently develop a fear of rejection in themselves. And this stops them from calling prospects rather than procrastinating. And, they think a thousand times before interacting with calling the prospects.

2. Calling Unqualified Leads

According to research by Harvard Business Review, 50% of our leads will not be ready to buy our product as we always think. Out of the remaining 50%, 30% of qualified leads will always be ready to choose our offerings. Before making a cold call, it is important to check whether the lead is qualified or not.

Properly not qualifying the leads is also a big yes for sales call reluctance. If you aren’t qualifying the leads before calling them, you are wasting a lot of your time and effort. Before connecting the call, it is essential to know whether your offerings would be able to fulfill the prospect’s current needs and wants or not.

If they qualify, you should go ahead and reach out to them. Suppose, if they don’t, never try to cold call them because they will never go with your offerings. Properly qualifying the leads tells you the results in advance. But not doing this will only leave you in a dilemma. When you don’t know their qualifications and directly call them, this increases the chance of getting rejected. And this can demotivate you and lead to call reluctance.

3. Lack Of Practice

Practice is important, whether for an examination or a sales call. And lack of practice could be another cause of sales call reluctance. Spending more time in the industry is equivalent to more rewards and experience. When we spend enough time in an industry, we become experienced in handling customers’ objections, questions, etc. But, this all comes with lots of practice and hard work.

Though, most beginner salespeople don’t understand this. They jump into the arena without practice. Hence, they get rejections as rewards just because they didn’t practice for different situations. They don’t prepare themselves for the most common objections and questions.

4. Lack Of Knowledge About Your Product Or Service

We know the importance of needs assessment in understanding the prospect’s needs. But before assessing customers’ needs, it is crucial to have great knowledge of your products or services. Without having proper information about your products, you won’t be able to suggest better solutions to them.

The first step to selling a product is to mug up every detail, including its features, specifications, pricing, etc.

Most salespersons make the mistake of pitching the product or service to prospects with inadequate information. As a result, customers reject the offer because they do not find it an ideal solution to overcome their challenges.

These are the most common causes of sales call reluctance. Read ahead to know, does call reluctance really matter?

Does Call Reluctance Really Matter?

Yes, call reluctance really matters in sales. According to research by, an average call reluctant salesperson loses 15.25 pieces of new business opportunities each month. Here is a statistic to check if call reluctance matters. According to, 80% of salespeople fail within the first year of starting their career in sales. The primary reason behind this is call reluctance. They fail because of not getting enough sales because of call reluctance.

Continue reading the next section to check the ways to overcome sales call reluctance.

Seven Ways To Overcome Sales Call Reluctance

Here are the seven ways to overcome call reluctance in sales.

1. Don’t Overthink

Overthinking is one of the biggest reasons for call reluctance. People who overthink a lot also believe in procrastination. The best way to overcome call reluctance is not overthinking. Yes, controlling your thoughts is a pretty tricky task, but we have a quick hack for you to do it.

The hack is: Don’t give yourself time to think. React to the situation quickly. Yes, it is one of the best hacks to stop overthinking. The more time you give yourself to think, the more you will procrastinate. If you keep thinking, your thoughts will paralyze you, and you will not perform that specific task.

Let’s understand this with an example.

Let’s say you reach your office at 10 AM. Now, set a ten-minute alarm to remind you to start calling prospects. You can utilize these ten minutes to settle down, clean your desk, or anything. As soon as those ten minutes end, you will start cold calling your prospects without excuses.

2. Use Positive Affirmations

Positive affirmation is a great way to stop procrastinating and motivate yourself. It will encourage you to work harder and achieve a particular goal. Everyone needs the motivation to work. It could be money for some or a good reputation for some people. You can’t keep yourself going without inspiration to work.

Before cold calling prospects, positively affirm yourself. That will help you calm down and build confidence.

3. Write A Script

We often get confused about what to say on a call, and because of this, we never try to call the prospect. We can easily eliminate this confusion by writing a general or personalized script for each call. You can include everything in the script you will talk about during the call. For instance, you can mention the introduction, basic information about the client, discovery questions, etc.

This will eliminate the fear of what to say during the call. Having an excellent script could be a blessing for salespeople.

4. Set Small Goals

It’s always better to take short steps instead of long steps with time. Setting small goals can help you overcome your fear and discomfort. This way, you will achieve results efficiently and effectively. This is not only applicable to salespeople. It is for everyone who procrastinates a lot. You can set small goals for each day to work on them. For instance, if you want to make a hundred calls in a day, you can divide the calls into small chunks. For example, ten calls during 11 AM – 1 PM, a fifteen-minute rest to refresh, and resume again.

5. Embrace The Yes

One of the biggest causes of call reluctance is anticipating results in advance. Some salespeople decide that the lead will not buy their product unless they aren’t qualified, which isn’t a good move.

Whenever we reach a client, we should always expect a ‘Yes’ from them. This increases the confidence to get on a call with the prospect. You should always anticipate that the call will be great, and you will get a deal for sure. In short, you will need to increase your confidence before getting on the call.

6. Listen to Your Call Recordings

Whenever you call a prospect, record the call to analyze it later. Listening to your call recording will help you understand your strong and weak points. By doing this, you can easily figure out what you need to improve and what you are already better at. After finding the weak points, try to focus on them in the upcoming calls.

Tip: You can also compare your previous and current calls to know your improvements.

7. Do Mock Sales Calls

We mean to say perform mock calls before dialing the first cold call of a day. It is essential to do a warm-up call before making the day’s first call. Batters also warm up on the ground before playing the actual match. And the same applies to a sales representative.

Of course, your first call will never be better or something as you expected it to be. But a warm-up call can make it a bit better. Also, it is better to have something than nothing.

These are the five ways to overcome sales call reluctance. Continue reading the next section to check some Frequently Asked Questions.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q. What Is Sales Call Anxiety?

Ans. Sales call anxiety refers to the fear experienced by salespeople before and during calls with clients they have never interacted with before.

Q. How Do You Relax Before a Sales Call?

Ans. One of the best ways to relax before making a sales call is to expect good results from that call. You should always expect a yes before making the call. This will help you relax and build confidence.

Q. How Do I Stop Being Reluctant?

Ans. Here are a few ways to stop being reluctant:

  1. Don’t Overthink
  2. Use Positive Affirmations
  3. Write A Script
  4. Set Small Goals
  5. Turn Your Anxiety into Excitement
  6. Embrace the Yes


Sales call reluctance is a common problem among salespeople. They fear getting rejected and judged by the people behind the call. However, a salesperson needs to overcome this to achieve great results.

In this guide, we learned everything about the Sales Call Reluctance. We looked at each aspect of call reluctance, including its types, ways to overcome call reluctance, and more. We hope you understand this concept correctly and will implement it the same.

That’s all for this guide on sales call reluctance. Stay tuned for more content on Sales and Marketing.

About Author

Lito James is the founder of He is an entrepreneur and marketing specialist who helps businesses to get more leads, subscribers, and customers. Massive Peak has been featured on G2, Cloudways, Sujanpatel, GetResponse, Renderforest, and many more. Follow on LinkedIn | Twitter

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