About Sales Call Reluctance

The hesitation to initiate first contact with prospective buyers on a daily basis is responsible for the failure of competent, motivated and capable salespeople than any other single factor. Nothing else even comes close. If sales call reluctance has affected your sales force, you can stop wasting money on new products, roll-outs, expensive brochures and various sales training.

The Twelve Faces of Sales Call Reluctance



Characterised by energy being diverted away from contact with prospective buyers into over-vigilant preparation for low probability catastrophes. Habitual worrying about the worst case scenario.



Characterised by energy being over-invested into analyzing at the expense of prospecting.  Preparation for making calls is out of control. The salesperson becomes an encyclopaedia of technical information with no one to make presentation to.



Characterised by energy being lost due to over-investment in the mannerisms and appearance of success. Energy is used up at the expense of goal-supporting behaviours such as prospecting, which is viewed as “demanding” and “unprofessional”. It is often accompanied by professional jargon, name-dropping, and a reflexive need to appear better informed and more sophisticated than the “average” salesperson.


Characterised by avoiding or bypassing opportunities to prospect through group presentations due to emotional discomfort. It is a highly targeted form of fear. Other forms of prospecting may be completely unaffected.


Role Rejection

Intricate type of call reluctance characterised by energy being lost due to unexpressed and unresolved guilt and shame associated with being in sales. Although highly contagious, it is recognised by the absence of objectivity and the rigid insistence upon appearing positive at all times, which has the effect of doubling the energy lost. 



Characterised by hesitation to prospect for new business due to a reflexive fear of being considered selfish, intrusive, or pushy. Salesperson may compensate by developing over-stylized, rigid adherence to consultative selling skills which can exaggerate the importance of relationship-building at the expense of clientèle–building.


Social Self Consciousness

Characterised by emotional hesitation to initiate contact with up-market prospective buyers. Habitually intimidated by persons of wealth, prestige, or power, this reaction may be camouflaged by a verbalised, over-cavalier disregard for status. Although a highly targeted fear, other forms of prospecting may remain unaffected.



Characterised by emotional resistance to mixing business interest with friendships.The salesperson usually finds it difficult to prospect for sales among personal friends or even to ask them for referrals. It can have adverse consequences even in sales settings where it is not necessary or appropriate to call on friends.


Emotionally Unemancipated

Characterised by emotional resistance to mixing business and family. The salesperson experiences difficulty prospecting for new business among accessible family members or even asking them for referrals. It can have adverse consequences even in sales settings where appropriate to call on family members, or when family members are not accessible due to death or geographic distance.


Referral Aversion

Characterised by emotional discomfort associated with asking existing clients for referrals. The salesperson may experience little or no distress actually initiation new contacts or closing sales.



Characterised by fear when trying to use the telephone for prospecting purposes. Although highly targeted, face-to-face forms of prospecting may be completely unimpaired.


 Oppositional Reflex

Hard-edged type of call reluctance characterised by high approval needs and low self-esteem. Results require an ambivalent need for continuous feedback which is then criticised and rejected as invalid. It also comes with a compulsive need to argue, make excuses and blame others. These salespeople are emotionally unable to allow themselves to be coached, advised, managed or trained. Many low producers remain low producers because of this form of call reluctance.


Here  you can see example of SPQ Gold Test results

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