Feeling nervous when the time comes to pick up the phone? You’re not alone. Sales call reluctance is a common challenge sales development reps experience every day. While it’s understandable to feel some pre-call jitters when talking to a new prospect, persistent sales call reluctance can become a professional barrier that seriously affects your career long-term.

Need some strategies to deal with your call reluctance? We’re here to help. Identifying and addressing call reluctance just involves a little forethought, careful planning, and support. Trust us, you’ll be back to feeling confident and capable in no time.

Is it Call Reluctance? Recognizing the Signs

Maybe you’ve noticed your sales numbers dipping recently and aren’t sure why, or maybe you have heightened anxiety at work. Sales call reluctance can manifest in several ways, and everyone deals with the symptoms differently.

One of the most common manifestations of sales call reluctance is procrastination. If you’re feeling uncomfortable, nervous, or scared of rejection, it’s natural to want to put off the sales call as much as possible. It’s also common to catastrophize and think of the worst-case scenarios before you call, making it seem increasingly daunting to pick up the phone.

Oddly enough, another common symptom of sales reluctance is over-preparing. Yes, there is such a thing as preparing too much! This is another way of procrastinating, by convincing yourself you don’t have enough information to make the call, and taking up a large amount of time doing unnecessary research. 

What’s Causing Your Call Reluctance?

Just like any form of anxiety, there’s not “one cause” for sales call reluctance. Call reluctance can stem from personal fears, under preparedness, lack of experience, or any number of other personal and professional stressors.

Fear of Rejection – We’ve all been there. Whether it’s asking a date to the prom, applying to a new job, or cold-calling a potential client, it’s normal to feel a fear of rejection. “On a cognitive level, we’re terrified that rejection and the subsequent biological response that we’re feeling are confirming our deepest fears: That we’re bad at sales and are destined to fail” (salesethics.net). In order to move forward, it’s important not to ignore these fears, but to acknowledge them as a normal part of being a SDR and to talk about it with peers or counselors.

Not Qualifying Leads – Another common cause for sales call reluctance is failing to qualify leads in advance of calling. It’s your job to make sure your product is a good fit for your prospective client ahead of the call. This way, you’ll both feel like the conversation is valuable, and you won’t be wasting your time on a bad lead.

Lack of Practice – This may seem like an obvious point, but if you haven’t practiced your sales call techniques, then you will be ill-equipped to deal with client’s questions, concerns, and demands on the phone. Needless to say, part of practice is making more sales calls! Remember not to be too hard on yourself when things don’t work out. Take each call as a learning experience and try to find some insight to use in your next interaction.

Lack of Product Knowledge – Get to know your product before you pick up the phone! This is another seemingly obvious tip, but thorough product knowledge is paramount when you’re negotiating a deal on the phone. You want to feel confident answering any question your client asks, and addressing any concern that crops up.

Tips to Address Your Call Reluctance

Now that you’ve identified the signs and root causes of your call reluctance, it’s time to work on improving your mindset. Aside from general anxiety-management techniques like breathing, meditation, and exercise, there are several sales-specific guidelines you can follow to improve your overall mental health and performance at work.

Re-Connect with Your Enthusiasm – Remember why you’re excited about the product or service you’re selling. Clients respond well to sales reps who are genuinely enthusiastic about their products and demonstrate a helpful, informative demeanor. Remind yourself that your role is to help guide clients, and to work with them to find the perfect fit for their needs.

Keep Up with Product Changes – Make sure your knowledge about your product is current and relevant. Read updated literature, attend meetings, and chat with colleagues and supervisors about new products and upgrades. Working as a sales rep means you never stop learning and improving your sales techniques.

Qualify Your Prospects – Ensure your potential clients are interested in your service before you make the sales call. A great way to find valuable leads is by working with a lead generation service. LeadJen offers outsourced SDR services specifically tailored to meet your company’s needs. LeadJen’s team of experts will work to qualify your leads, so your time can be spent on closing the deal instead of finding potential clients. With the help of LeadJen, you won’t need to waste your time with unproductive calls any longer.

Highlight Your Unique Value

When you’re chasing a new lead, think about the ways that your company differs from the competition. There’s a reason that your product or service is the right fit for your prospect, and you’re there to help facilitate the relationship. If you foster confidence and pride in your products’ value, present an enthusiastic and thorough pitch, and follow up with qualified leads, your sales call reluctance will be a thing of the past.