Call Reluctance – Sales Calls Gone Wrong – Don’t Fear the Phone

Sales podcast ep 29 The-Slow-Pitch-Podcast-Sales Call Reluctance
Sales Podcast, The Slow Pitch
The Slow Pitch Sales Podcast
Call Reluctance - Sales Calls Gone Wrong - Don't Fear the Phone


Call Reluctance & Bad Sales Calls

Call reluctance is simply making every excuse in the book before picking up the phone and calling someone. Think about it, call reluctance kicks in when you have negative experience receiving or making a sales call, you feel like you don’t want to call anyone else. Let’s talk about ways you can move past that problem and get back to calling. We talk about this because we think you should never accept call reluctance. Fear drives your potential buyer’s decision as much as it drives your decision not to dial the phone.

Bad Call? Move On!

Face it, call reluctance is going to happen. What should you do when a sales call has gone wrong? Unfortunately, it usually it leads to call reluctance…meaning don’t want to to pick that phone back up to call someone else. Feeling that way is wrong.

Rob and Lane discuss a call that went bad and caused Lane to feel very uncomfortable and caused some call reluctance. They talked about the call, how it made Lane feel and then how to get back on track.

Is Sales Call Reluctance Normal?

Call reluctance is normal for anyone in sales. In this episode, Rob and Lane talk about a couple of ways to get past it, recover rather quickly and get calling again. We review three tips to moving past call reluctance and get yourself back on the phone.

If you’ve ever had an angry caller, a caller who belittles you, or makes you feel like you’re at their same level (lowering your self-worth). If you have ever felt that way, this episode is for you. You should NEVER feel like that nor should you let it affect you.

Call reluctance is a real thing, but you can fight it and overcome it. Listen in as we talk about tips to get it back together and get calling again!

Don’t let call reluctance stop you from being a successful salesperson!


Related Episodes:

Top 10 Sales Tips For Beginners

Attitude vs Action: How It Affects Sales

Why Can’t I Talk About Money In Sales? (How To Be More Confident)

How to Find Pain in Sales. What Is Pain in Sales?


Related Website:

Sales Call Reluctance


Music: "Clydesdale Funk" by Cast of Characters, written by: Dustin Ransom.

The Episode

Rob  00:09

Welcome back, everybody The Slow Pitch Podcast. Lane, how are we doing over there today?

Lane  00:14

Doing great Rob, how are you today?

Rob  00:16

I’m doing well I am doing well what are we talking about today?

Lane  00:20

So I had this inbound call the other day, and the woman I spoke with, man, she just ruined my day. I did not want to take another call all day long. She was just, I guess the best word towards belligerent.

Rob  00:32

Oh, wow. So she was not fun to deal with.

Lane  00:34

Not fun at all.

Rob  00:36

Alright, so today let’s talk about how to deal with almost like belligerent people, people that are just unruly and very difficult to deal with when they would call you or in a phone call. If it goes sideways. We’ll talk about that today. Let’s… let’s get started. This is The Slow Pitch Podcast. Alright, so tell me a little bit about how this call went? I mean, you’re saying she was a little bit belligerent. So kind of give me a little bit of background. What did she do? What was she trying to? Why was it so belligerent like what happened to you’d like say something to make her mad? What happened?

Lane  01:05

Now she called up and she just right off the bat, she wanted a price for web design work. I’ve got 1,000,001 questions I can ask to try to figure out what exactly you want. But she just wanted to price she you know, I told her that. I got 100 questions. Okay, well ask your questions. So that’s a question very curtly she’d answer is, what’s the price and then it just went on like that for a long time. I you know, I, I can’t just give you a price. I need to know what I’m getting into to be able to give you the price. What do you actually want or need, but she was man… And she just she just couldn’t understand that I couldn’t give her a price. Just off the bat.

Rob  01:39

Interesting. Okay. So it wasn’t so much something you said it was just they came at you really hot? Yes, absolutely. Okay. All right. So and then you said you follow that up with after you get off the phone? You didn’t want to call anybody else?

Lane  01:52

Yeah. Now that just ruined my day. I and I don’t want to talk to anyone else after that.

Rob  01:55

Yeah, no kidding. All right. So that can be a very, very bad thing for somebody who’s in sales, especially when you have to deal with the phone calls and, and make calls and receive more calls that can really make your day difficult, particularly when you’re trying to hit a certain number, I would guess right? So how, how after the call, did you get… Were you able to recover at all? Or were you just literally that was it no more the rest of the day?

Lane  02:19

Now it was halfway through the day. So I just called it quits on sales that day and wouldn’t work on other things.

Rob  02:24

Yeah. And that, okay, that so for anybody listening, that’s going to be a little bit difficult. And I’m sure that anybody who’s been in sales for any period of time, it’s happened to you too. And I’ve been there and had something like that happen a while back. And it was not a pleasant experience. So let’s talk a little bit about the mental side of it first, because I feel like some of this is mental, don’t you? I mean, is this something that is recoverable? Can you recover? Or do you have to wait till the next day and start all over again? What do you think?

Lane  02:52

No, it’s absolutely recoverable. I just, I guess, part of me, I just didn’t know what to do to recover from it. It just…

Rob  02:57

Yeah, Okay. So I think the goal then of this show, then, is to really figure out what are the tricks and tips to get recovered from a call that goes really bad. And I think knowing some of the background behind that helps a little bit. So knowing that you had a little bit of a difficult call when it came in is one piece but it’s not so much the content of that call that’s important. It’s how do you recover from there? How did you feel after that call? Kind of what did it What were some of your feelings that you felt after you hung up that phone? Whether you were able to get anywhere with that call? Or you weren’t able to get anywhere with that call? What were the feelings that came to your mind as you hung up that phone call?

Lane  03:33

Oh, gosh, well, I was extremely frustrated. You know, she almost had me doubting my own my own ability to ask questions and get answers and yeah, in price something I mean, you know, it’s just it was crazy.

Rob  03:50

Yeah. Okay. I would imagine that’s normal for anybody. I know. I felt that way when I’ve had this before, too. I got to the point one time and tell me if this is something that you felt after the call to but I felt very almost like angry to the point I wanted to yell at somebody or like, right I mean, like what is wrong with people out there, right?

Lane  04:12

Yeah, yeah, exactly. I wanted to yell at her but, you know…

Rob  04:15

Well, why didn’t you? I’m just kidding…

Lane  04:20

Yeah. I don’t know it’s silly that the pesky little thing called professionalism you know.

Rob  04:25

Yeah, there’s that I guess there’s that. I think the anger piece is one thing so I think if you get angry for after called, I think the number one thing to remember is okay, that’s normal. You should feel that way. Because anytime somebody treats you that way, that’s not right. Like that’s somebody that looks down on you, right? That’s what it feels like. And like you are you’re beneath me. I’m even surprised I’m calling you. Because I don’t really want to talk to people that are salespeople. I don’t wanna talk to you. And while that’s nice for them, it doesn’t feel good on our side. So I think the thing first thing to recognize is no matter how a call goes, the outcome of the call does not tie to your who you are as a person, if you will, I don’t know what other words to describe that with other than who you are as a person is completely separate from any sale that you ever make. So whether you make the sale or you don’t make the sale, you are still in terms of a person still a good person, right? Whether they feel like they’re treating you in a bad way, or they make you feel in a bad way, it doesn’t really matter, you’re still a good person. Does that make sense?

Lane  05:29

Yeah, absolutely. Absolutely.

Rob  05:31

So and it sounds like a weird like statement to say like, you know, you’re still a good person, I guess what I mean by that is, is your value as a person and the value that you’re bringing in sales, and the value that you’re bringing outside of your sales role is a value that’s different than what this person is treating you. And you have to remember that. So when you get done with a call like that, you have to think about I mean, so let me back up a little bit. If you read Stephen Covey’s book, The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People, you’ll see that there’s a way of you’re looking at your life, in terms of roles that you play, and the goals that you want to set. Well, I want you to look at sales the same way. So you have a sales role. And then you have roles within your sales role. And then you have your role outside of sales. So when you’re not on your calls, or when you’re not in your sales role, you’re your role as a father, your role as a friend, your role is whatever your roles are outside of that job are still there. And they don’t affect that. And they should never affect that. So you got to keep those things separate. And it’s kind of a weird saying. But there’s a saying of keep each role separate in terms of your emotions, and in terms of your view of how you are in the world. So you can be a great father and still be poor at sales, or vice versa. You can do those things one thing poorly, and you do one thing really well. But they should be independent of each other. Do they affect each other? Yes. So if you’re not doing well, in your job, they can affect other areas of your life. But you can’t let them overflow emotionally meaning I can’t do this, therefore, I can’t do that, because they’re totally independent. Does that make sense?

Lane  07:04

Yea, so you’re saying I need to be multi personality?

Rob  07:06

Yes, you need to multi person. Yes, personality disorders, what I’m saying you should develop that’s your protect you just fine. So I’m you. I don’t know how long it’s gonna take for you to do that. I’m just kidding. But I think those are, the first step is recognizing that those two independent things are independent, they should remain independent. Does that mean you should just blow things off and say, forget it? I don’t care about that. No, because it’s hard to do. You can’t really do that. So let’s talk a little bit about some of the tricks to get you going again, because that’s really some of the keys to this episode. So first of all, Lane, one of the things that came up was you said you didn’t want to do any more calls. What stopped you from making another call? Was it I just don’t want to get on the phone again. I don’t want to get yelled at yet what kind of what was what would be the feeling that you had that makes you stop making more calls?

Lane  07:53

It’s kind of a mix of things. You know, one I didn’t want to encounter that type of personality again to that day, I you know, I also knew that I just wasn’t in a good headspace. And I you know, I don’t want to subject someone I’m calling to my bad mood because of the way I was treated. So I just kind of felt that it you know, it’s best for everybody all around if I just get off the phone for the day.

Rob  08:15

Yeah. Okay. So actually, that second one is very, very healthy in terms of, I know, I’m not in a good headspace. So that’s good, recognizing that’s half the battle, because sometimes I’ve ever had it where a sales call comes in, and they’re trying to sell you, and they just don’t sound like they’re very, in a very good mood. Like they don’t even feel like they should be there and you can tell them that…

Lane  08:34

Sounds like most of them. Yeah.

Rob  08:35

Yeah. So when they do that, I feel like “boy, you should probably doing something else.” Because if you are hating this call, then I don’t feel like I’m gonna treat you poorly. Because I know what it’s like to do that I usually try to listen and make sure they’re clear that hey, I’m not interested when I get a call like that. But I also know that if you have a bad call, and you’re feeling that way, carrying that over to the next call is not good. So that kind of leads me to one of one of my tricks is, if you will, is to basically stop calls for a few minutes. But I think it’s more important to say this, don’t just stop for the day and say I’ll get back to it at some point because you won’t set a timer, grab your phone, or set a timer on your computer or whatever you need to do. But set a timer and if you want to set it for 15 minutes, that’s fine, set it for 15 minutes, set it for 10 whatever that is, and get up get up from your desk, get up from where you’re making your calls, and take a walk eight minutes away eight minutes back, you’re back in front of your desk and you’re ready to go with your calls or whatever that might be right so if it’s seven and seven, whatever your numbers are, go walk away from your desk that far for that many minutes and then walk straight back and now your head will be clear. And and you can while you’re on your walk on the way out if you will. So if you’re some of you are working at your home, or some of you are working in an office, you stand up and walk away from your desk and when you do that, all the distance that you travel on the way away from your desk is spent thinking about that call what you could have done differently. And so to me, it’s like, well, I could have said anything differently, could I have approached that differently? Is there anything I could have said and and mentally think about: What would I have done differently? What could I have done differently that’s on your way away from your desk, when you turn around to come back to your desk, that’s when you think about your next call, what things that I learned from this one that I can apply to this call? So no matter what, whenever, whether it’s an incoming call, or an outgoing call, whatever you picked up from that other one, what was the thing that you learned? How am I going to incorporate that into my new messaging or my next message that’s going to prevent that from happening, or, rather than just completely changing your script, maybe what you’re doing is saying, alright, my script usually works, I hit one of these individuals, because they’re out there, they’re not off there all the time. Take that person, and say, when that person shows up in my call, again, I need to do X, whatever that is that you walked away from your desk. So sometimes it’s a matter of saying to that person, hey, I, I’m I’m and this is kind of one of those situations where when somebody is really giving you being belligerent, now I know that next time I have one of these might fall back to their attitude is going to be I don’t know if that now sounds like a really good time to have talked to you because it sounds like you’re pressed for time. When’s the time that I can call you back again, to set up a time so we have enough time? Because I feel like I’m, I’m pressed for time on my side. And you’re pressed for time on your side? Is there a time that we can talk again, especially when they’re an incoming call there, they wanted to call you anyway, right? When you now make that outbound call to them again, you now have the ability to say, all right, you’ve planned this, they know you’re calling, you know, you’re calling everybody’s ready. Their attitude is usually different. It’s weird, I’ve done this, their attitude is totally different. Almost, you’re like, well, this is a different person. And sometimes it’s not. But a lot of times it’s a totally different attitude, because they’re not under the pressure of time. They thought it would just take a few minutes to get the answers. So that’s one way to do it. When you finish your calling. Was there anything that you were able to get yourself back to the next time you had to make a call, whether it’s the next day, the next week, whatever that was? Did you ever get to a point where you could say, Okay, I’m just ready to go again?

Lane  12:06

Yeah, the next hour is fine. It was just Yeah, kind of decompressing and, and and just, you know, processing that and letting it go. And just, alright, that was a bad call on to the next.

Rob  12:16

Yeah. So time usually, like they say, Time heals all wounds. Right. So that fits with that, that’s totally fine. And the next day, it’s okay, for you forgot about what you went through the other day, and let’s go. So if that’s the case, that’s great. And then some people don’t. So some people I’ve known that just couldn’t pick up the phone after that. It was like, shocked them. And they were like, I’ve never had anybody talk to me that way. And so if that’s the case, I would recommend another as another trick, I would recommend picking up the phone and calling someone, someone that you know, somebody that can be a mentor, somebody that can ask you questions to make you get back on track. So what if you called somebody and you said, Hey, I just had a really bad call, you haven’t been and I want to talk to you. And this is something you’d have to plan ahead of time so that you know you have a mentor or somebody that you could talk to you and just bounce off ideas or go through when you have a bad day, I need a push, you know, that kind of thing. And so right when I have that I call the person up and I say, I just had a really bad call, can I tell you about it? And they go, Yeah, tell me, you know, especially if they have the time and they say, Okay, here’s what happened. They’re like, Oh, wow, how, what are you gonna do now? And they just walk you through these questions of like, well, I don’t know, I’m really stuck. I can’t make a phone call. Why is that? Well, because I feel like it’s gonna happen again, I don’t want to get yelled out again. But maybe I don’t verbalize it that way. Maybe I say something else. But that person’s drilling down questions to make me think about. Now, this person’s kind of crazy, they shouldn’t have treated you that way. You know, they shouldn’t have treated you that way. And they’re helping you get back on track. And so calling somebody can be very helpful. And I have two more tricks that I want to go through. I’m going to stop this conversation right now. If you’re finding value in any one of our episodes, we want you to share it with somebody else. Just tell somebody “Hey, go listen to these cases, this has been good.” Second, give us a review. Tell us what you think. And the third thing, hit that subscribe button so that you always get updated every time we release an episode.

Lane  14:07

We’d really appreciate it. Now back to the show. All right, Rob, we’re back. And you said you had two more tips for us. So what, what what do you still have for us?

Rob  14:18

Alright, so I think the next one would be starting a call a little differently. So I know we talked about walking away and coming back and you kind of learned from something. But now it’s time to just kind of start a call a little bit differently. So by that, I mean, you’ve had an incoming call, or you’ve had an outgoing call that didn’t go well. Alright, I wouldn’t say change everything you do. But now’s a good time to test something you’ve always wanted to try. So you always want to try a call that says starts out one way that you’ve never done before. This might be the way to try it. Because you might find that’s actually more effective. And some of that mean it being more effective maybe because your attitude has changed. So what’s going to happen when you flip your mind to saying, “I’m going try and call a little bit differently?” Your brain is open to it’s a new experience, and it’s a new thing. And they’re not your brain does not hang on to what happened before. It’s like, no, this is a new thing, this is a new way to start. So it’s a mental trick that kind of makes you move forward and around that problem. And it can start a call differently, you might get a different result. And that’s a test. So if it goes wrong, guess what your brain says,

Lane  15:24

Well, your brain tells you that was a test. It’s because your whatever you’re testing did not work. Well. It wasn’t it wasn’t you.

Rob  15:31

Yeah, exactly. It was a test. It’s, it’s not me, it wasn’t, I was trying something new. And that didn’t work, okay. Or guess what surprise it worked. But now you’re gonna test it again, over and over again, to make sure that it continues to work, just remember that. But now you have a new way of approaching something. So you can have to have two ways or three ways or whatever those numbers of ways that you’ve developed of ways to approach a starting up a call. So when I’ve had these kinds of calls, I test something new, that’s what I find, I get the best kind of, “hey, this is a little bit of a different twist to a way to start a new call, so that it doesn’t go sideways early.” And it does work. And it gets your brain flipped, so that it’s in the right mindset versus hanging on to an old thing. The trick of walking away still helps because therefore your walk away and then come back and try a new thing. That does make a difference. So keep those data in like this. The second one that I wanted to cover it was using what I call the two minute rule.

Lane  16:25

The two minute rule. What, what is that Rob?

Rob  16:27

Yeah, okay. All right. So the two minute rule is, is actually more simple than you think this two-minute rule is a kind of a new way to start a call when you call the next person, and you say, Hi, my name is Rob, I am about to go through a quick little spiel, I’m starting a timer right now I have two minutes to get through and see if you’d be interested in talking any longer. And you know what, at the end of two minutes, you’re welcome to tell me to go away. Are you interested in most people, two minutes, most people will say two minutes. Or you could say 60 seconds, however you want to do it. But two minutes max. And most people will go go ahead because they know what your job. They know. I’ve even I’ve even done it as simple as something like this. Hey, I have I have about 60 to 90 seconds to say what I need to say from a sales perspective. This is a cold call. You know, it’s a cold call. I know it’s a cold call. We all hate them. But if you give me 60 seconds, I’d like to go through it, then you know what, the other 60 seconds? I think you’re a good person to talk to, but you may not. And I would love to have you tell me now if it’s not, is it okay, if I do my 60 seconds?

Lane  17:26

Yeah, I’d like to go ahead and do it.

Rob  17:27

Yeah, it’s kind of a challenge at that point, right?

Lane  17:29

Yeah, it’s hard to say no to one to two minutes because at least you know, okay, there is light at the end of the tunnel. I can get out of this pretty easily without being rude. And I’m not gonna waste all my time. And, you know, there’s always the odd chance that I might be interested in what you’re trying to sell me.

Rob  17:44

What if you called me and said to me, I want 60 to 90 seconds. This is a challenge. Basically what we just talked about, and I say to you, nope, no thanks. Do you take that personally? Or do you say, Okay, thanks for your time. How does that make you feel? Like let’s try it.

Lane  18:03

Hey, is this Rob?

Rob  18:04

This is.

Lane  18:05

Hey, Rob, my name is Lane. Hey, look, I I know you weren’t expecting my phone call here, I would love to just take 60 seconds and just tell you what I’ve got what I’d like to explain to you. And at the end of that we can you can just tell me to go away if you’re not interested. Otherwise we can we can talk for a couple more minutes.

Rob  18:21

Nope, not interested. Thanks.

Lane  18:22

All right. Have a nice day.

Rob  18:23

Simple, right? How do you feel?

Lane  18:25


Rob  18:25

Do you feel angry? Do you feel mad?

Lane  18:28

They were really mean to me, yeah.

Rob  18:30

That was not that mean, come on! I just said no, it’s okay, fine. Like what does that no skin off my back? I got another call today. That’s fine.

Lane  18:38

I’d rather have the quick no than…

Rob  18:40

Yeah. And the other thing you could you could you can end your statement of the 60 to 90 seconds, whatever that might be and we can continue talking or you can say even this is the other thing that can add a layer on to this and say, you know, instead of saying we can continue talking, you can say or we can you know, at the end of that 60 seconds, if you decide to we should talk some more, we could schedule a time for like another 15 minutes. And that’s all we have and after 15 minutes at that point, you can hang up on me and then too, but we’d have to schedule it because I don’t want to take them I’m I’m surprising you right now. I’d rather …you know what I mean, like it gives them the option of saying, “Oh, you know what I am interested, this is a problem we’re having.” And you know, you go to your 60-second commercial that you we’ve developed in the early on in this podcast, and they go through that statement and they think to themselves “Yeah, this is something we need to talk about. We’ve had that problem. Let’s talk.” Okay, when’s a good time to talk? Even if you went through your 60 seconds and they said, “Yeah, let’s talk” Even if you haven’t said, hey, we can schedule a time, you can say, “Okay, well, when’s a good time to talk? Because I know I surprised you. I don’t want to assume that we can talk right now.” And they may go now it’s actually a good time. Oh, now you got somebody that can talk. Or they may go Yeah, I know I’m just getting ready to walk into a meeting. So all of those options are available to you but getting yourself in the right mindset and getting yourself shifted away from the negativity is half the battle because if you are in that Negative Zone, just like you said earlier, you’re doing yourself you’re doing the good potential client or the potential customer a disservice, they’re gonna hear it in your voice, they’re gonna know that you’ve been beat up. And they don’t want to deal with you either then, right? And if you do it, where you break away, you reset, you’ll get going, you’ll be fine. You’ll get back on track, and you might even close another sale. I hope that was helpful, what do you think? Does that help you Lane with what you went through?

Lane  20:19

Yeah, I think that definitely helps out. That’d help me, help me get back on track to make another call, same day and just just move on.

Rob  20:25

Yeah. And you want to make a ton more so good. All right. glad it was helpful. Until next time, Lane. We’ll see you later.

Lane  20:31

See you later, Rob.

V/O  20:33

Thank you for listening to The Slow Pitch. Do you have a question about sales? Call or text your question at (608) 708-SLOW that’s (608) 708-7569. Or you can email them to Slow Down and Close More.

Leave a Comment