Call Reluctance and Cold Call Sales-Beat Avoid Dialing Disorder (ADD)

Four strategies to overcome call reluctance. It takes psychology, discipline and reasonable expectations to make more sales calls when you would rather eat glass than make more calls.

Dear Dr. Scott:

I don’t know what to do. I am sales professional in a position with great potential. My co-workers are making money. Competitors are making money. People dumber and lazier than me are making money. I am great in front of customers and can get deals closed, but have a problem I am ashamed of. I am afraid of the phone. I freeze at the thought of picking it up. When I do pick it up, my confidence disappears and I babble like an idiot. What should I do Dr. Scott? This one thing is keeping me from earning a much higher income. My kids need shoes. Help me.

Please write back. Don’t call.

Dear PhonePhobic,

There is good news. Many have suffered from your malady and lived to excel at selling. This is not fatal.

Sales call reluctance due in part to lack of confidence in what you are doing

At the deepest level, your anxiety is caused because subconsciously, deep down… you feel you are wasting your time.

You don’t want to start because you know you will torture yourself…. people avoid you, you burn in voicemail hell, you wrestle with those who protect your prey – and lose every time, people cut you off, say “no” and call your mother names. The way you are working and approaching it, you know you will get no results, so your condition, known as ADD – Avoid Dialing Disorder, kicks in and keeps you from earning the higher income you deserve.

If you have the sales skills, and it sounds like you do, then you have to acknowledge that if others are doing it, you can too.

Your ADD condition is disorienting you. You are almost for sure calling the wrong people. You are disorganized. You don’t have the benefit of working a call process. When you do get a decision-maker on the phone, your lack of confidence is evident to them. You use too many words, your words don’t have impact on who you talk to, they say “no,” and you get very very sad.

To overcome hesitation to call adjust your expectations. Get real.

Worse than that, you are in denial. I bet you say to yourself things like “I know who to call” and “My industry is different.” The first step to a cure is to admit what you are doing is not working, and you have to change. Stop clinging to beliefs that are not working for you. Open your mind up to new ideas. Be willing to change. Embrace some new strategies.

Your mindset must be that there are buyers out there, right now, looking for what you offer. If you are not there your competitors will get that business. You just need to work the right list, the right way, to get these accounts.

Be objective about the pros and cons of what you are doing. Find out where you are going wrong. Try new things.

Get organized and work a process. No more random calls. No more haphazard efforts. You need to work a plan to earn the money you deserve.

Overcome call reluctance with script preparation and confidence that you are calling the right list in the right way

Speak with impact. Those who open doors to potential big accounts say things in a certain way and within a certain structure to project a value, which makes top-level decision-makers, want to trade their time to receive. Even when they hear “no,” these door openers know what to say to get a meeting sooner rather than later.

There is hope. You can learn these things.

Cruelly, many ADD sufferers… capable able salespeople who have the ability to open doors at big opportunities and close those deals, will suffer for years, denying themselves higher incomes and happier workdays, just because they won’t take the medicine to get rid of their avoid dialing disorder.  They will continue to waste hours and hours EVERY WEEK, rather than to spend just a few hours ONCE, to get organized and most productive.

PhonePhobic, the cost of the cure pales in comparison to your pain. What would just a few more good appointments a month do for you? Ten a month or more? If you have a sales team, what would increasing their door opening ability do for you?

Would you spend less than $20 for relief?

Would you spend less than $200 for an all-encompassing regimen you can administer yourself?

Would you spend less than $1,500 for intense personal therapy with an expert who will personally guide you through every step, cure you and get you productive within weeks?

It only takes a few weeks to recover. After all, this is just ADD, not brain surgery. Just apply proven concepts and strategies, like many others before you have done, and you are on your way to the income you deserve.

Be strong. Best wishes.
Dr. Scott

Overcome call reluctance with four cold call strategies

Prospecting does stink!!

The good news is cold outreach is not rocket science. You can figure out what works. The bad news is that once you figure out what works, you have to do it over and over and over and over again.

Combining smart people with repetitive tasks, regardless of the high skill level necessary to carry them out, is a recipe for boredom and frustration – if you don’t know how to fight it.


Trainees are surprised to hear me say that I couldn’t care less about the result from any one specific call. You see, even the best callers hear something other than “yes,” about 4 out of 5 times. If you focus on the non-yeses, you are doomed to be overwhelmed with negativity.

Even though I don’t care about the result of any one call, I do care very very much about whether I put my best foot forward on that call. Did I deliver my pitch well? Did I respond well to the objections? If I have done those things very well and they don’t agree to meet, my attitude is “I don’t care.” If I am doing the right things well I don’t beat myself up over the vast majority that say “no,” because that is going to happen even when I am doing everything right.

I do care very much and focus on how many meetings were scheduled within a group of records, or per week or per day. I play a mental game called “beat the baseline” where I challenge myself to meet or exceed my average performance over time.

By focusing on the positive results achieved, it’s easier to not let the no’s overwhelm you.


Do what leads to meetings well and you will get more meetings.

You must coordinate and execute a number of component parts very well to set sales appointments. You must identify a certain number of decision-makers every day/every week within a certain period of time. You have to complete your callbacks. You have to power call successfully, etc.

A good way to fight phone phobias is to focus on executing a component part of your plan very well. Take pride in the fact that you identified your 12 decision-makers today within the one hour allocated. Pat yourself on the back that all your callbacks were completed by noon.

Create the circumstances in your mind so that you can have positive thoughts about a job well done. And guess what – when you execute the parts well – you get more appointments.

Break your system down into parts. Focus on those parts one by one until you are confident you have it right. Picked the right list. Have the CRM set up correctly for efficiency and coding. All the core scripts are ready. Your activity level is in a reasonable range.

You will not beat call reluctance until you have enough confidence that you are doing the right things in the right way to get the sales results you seek.


A. I’ll get up and get a soda when I have spoken to 5 decision-makers.

B. I’ll dial the next number within 10 seconds of completing a call for an hour.

C. I’ll make 50 calls this hour.

Just play games with yourself to get some variety and attention away from the no’s.


If you are in a slump and getting frustrated try standing up when you call. You also might try being animated when you speak. Move your arms around when you speak. Talk to your computer monitor.

You can also alter your vocal tone. Alter your delivery speed and pitch just to mix it up and make it different for yourself.

IN SUMMARY. This job is a mental challenge. Use the ideas above to fight the drudgery and stay positive.

Best wishes for good selling,
Scott Channell