Last month in Part One of this series we talked about the importance of call reluctance and the fact that everyone has some form of call reluctance that can hurt their income—or even worse cause failure in sales and business. Don’t think you are immune because you are experienced in sales. Experience causes prejudices as we experience failures and reluctance can actually get worse as our career progresses. For example, had a bad experience with a relative? Then don’t call on family! Earlier Post was published in early May.
The second step of the process is to identify what type of call reluctance is affecting you. Not only do we all have call reluctance, but we all have different forms. Knowing what we are dealing with makes it easier to come up with solutions. In their landmark book, Earning What You’re Worth: The Psychology of Call Reluctance, by George W. Dudley and Shannon L. Goodson, 12 types were identified:
Doomsayer™ These people always see the worst case scenario. They spend an enormous amount of time protecting themselves against fictional dangers. “There is no point in my calling on that customer.”
Over-Preparer™ These people are afraid of appearing as if they do not know enough or are ill prepared. So they spend a great deal of time getting ready and will sacrifice opportunities in favor of preparation, such as training and studying.
Hyper-Pro™ These people are over-concerned with projecting the right look or creating the right impressions. For them, looking right is often more important than doing right. They routinely avoid doing things they consider beneath them even if they are proven winners.
Stage Fright™ People with Stage Fright avoid group selling situations. Two or more people can comprise a group and they become increasingly uncomfortable and will even freeze up in some cases.
Role Rejection™ These are people who are secretly ashamed of being in sales. Even though they have intellectually bought into selling as a worthwhile career, they still harbor emotional doubts about its worth. “I’m more of an advisor.”
Yielder™ These people are afraid of inciting conflict or imposing on others. They yield their own right of way to others and complain that they are taken advantage of. They regularly default many pieces of business to their peers and competitors. “When you’re ready to buy, just call me.”
Social Self-Consciousness™ People are easily intimidated by others they consider better than themselves because of such things as wealth, power, position or a better education. They routinely avoid calling on these people.
Separationist™ People avoid doing business with their friends. Believing that business and friendship don’t mix, they refuse to call on friends for business or even help in finding new business. Repeat business from a client (now a friend) can be extremely difficult for them.
Emotionally Un-emancipated™ Rule their families out as possible sources of new business or referrals.
Referral Aversion™ Although they know how to get referrals, these people tend to postpone asking for them—preferring to wait for a better time which never seems to come. Companies often misdiagnose this as a lack of training and spend enormous amounts of money teaching how to ask for referrals. They already know how. They are emotionally unable to.
Tele-phobia™ Inhibits the use of the telephone when it comes to prospecting only. All other uses are allowed. “I prefer dealing with people face-to-face. That way I can see their expressions.”
Oppositional Reflex™ These are people who reflexively oppose. They tend to act in opposites even when to do so is not in their best interests. They critique often and become very defensive when challenged. Sales people with this type tend to fight with customers.
We have added three more types: Techno-Phobia (those who avoid technology), Lost in Technology (those who can email but can’t call) and Truth-Phobia. If you read all of these types and don’t admit you are influenced by more than one, you have Truth-Phobia. You first must admit your short-coming before you conquer such. Next month we will talk about conquering reluctance and increasing your income.