Do Your Employees Suffer from Call Reluctance?

Posted by on May 20, 2013 in Phone Systems, Sales 2.0 [ 0 Comments ]

Employee call reluctanceWhether they’re in sales or customer service, sitting in your office or working at an outbound call center, employee productivity can be damaged when call reluctance sets in. Call reluctance is the inability to make a phone call, usually due to fear of failure or rejection.

Since calling is one of the most effective means of generating business for your company, a decrease in that activity due to call reluctance can have a drastic effect on your bottom line.

Examine your call representatives to determine what kind of call reluctance they’re experiencing, and ways that you can mitigate the problem and get your outbound call rate back on track.

Related: Find a phone system your employees with love through one of our vendors

Fear of Failure

Employees who experience call reluctance due to fear of failure exhibit the following behaviors:

  • They reject prospective leads without ever contacting them.
  • They over-prepare for a call, and spend so much time on analysis and preparation that they never end up picking up the phone
  • They are intimidated by high-value clients and are stricken into inaction due to feelings of inadequacy.
  • When they fail to qualify a lead, they blame everyone except themselves.

The main problem with these types of employees is confidence and ego. Maybe they have been successful in the past, and base their worth as  person and as an employee on their lack of past failures. Therefore, they avoid any situation where the possibility of failure exists – thus precluding the possibility of failure, but also harming the business’s bottom line when leads don’t get turned into sales.

Related: Are Your Sales Suffering From Old CRM Software?

Fear of Rejection

Fear of rejection is the other main cause of call reluctance in sales, call center, and other employees whose jobs are mostly comprised of making outbound or cold calls. Employees who fear rejection typically:

  • Experience feelings of stage fright.
  • Dislike pushing their sales pitch on a prospective lead, preferring to wait until the prospect asks for the sale themselves.
  • Exhibit referral aversion; they avoid rejection by failing to ask clients for a referral or upsell.

Fear of failure and fear of rejection overlap in many ways, and you may have employees who experience elements of both fears concurrently. Luckily, there are ways that you and your managers can help mitigate the feelings of anxiety that your employees feel towards calling.

Related: The 10 Most Common Telemarketing Mistakes


First and foremost, talk to your reluctant employees. Some individuals may not even realize that their sales numbers or number of calls has been decreasing. Point out the existence of the problem –and its impact on their sales numbers – may be enough to motivate them to change their behavior for the better.

  • Find out what causes the most anxiety in your employees, and look for ways to address them. These can include practicing public speaking to mitigate stage fright; role-playing to help employees prepare for negative call experiences; or extra training on specific subjects where employees feel less confident.
  • Often it is the first sales call of the day that is most intimidating and put off. Encourage employees to make their first call early in the day in order to break the habit of procrastination before it starts.

Finally, make sure that your business or call center has a well-organized and function contact management  system and call center software. The more prepared that your employees feel, and the more information that they have on-hand while making a call, the more confident they will feel about picking up the phone and dialing.

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