Theory of Sales Call Reluctance

“No matter how skillful and knowledgeable a candidate may appear, this is of little commercial use for any business if they are uncomfortable actually using these abilities in front of a customer….”

This quote sums up what the theory of Sales Call Reluctance is all about.  If you haven’t already done so, please watch this brief 3-minute presentation, which explains why it is so important for anyone in a sales related role….

We use the Energy Schematic below to further explain the impact of this conflict between the application of our abilities and our emotional feelings…

Energy Schematic

ReMap define peak performance in a sales person to be when they can put all of the emotional and physical Energy that they wake up with (their battery power), into achieving their personal and professional Goals; which looks like this:

LittleSnapper 2

 However if a sales person suffers from some form(s) of SCR then instead of their energy going into ‘Goal Supportive’ actions, some can work against them in what we call ‘Goal Obstructive’ behaviours.  The following example and the schematic below explains the process:

1.   An ‘activating event’ occurs ( X below), which creates some form of concern, doubt or worry for the sales person (such as being required to telephone 10 new clients today..)

2.   If there is no SCR present the sales person will put all of their energy into making effective, focused and positive telephone calls during which they will use all of their skills and knowledge to obtain 10 future sales appointments.

3.   However, if the sales person suffers from one of the 12 forms of SCR called ‘Telephobia’ then this task will immediately (sub-consciously) start to affect them in negative ways.

4.   The energy intended for positive actions will be diverted into dealing with their discomfort – we call this an Emotional Short Circuit

They will start to create ingenious ways to avoid making the calls for themselves – see Marker Behaviours below. They may procrastinate; get absorbed in a lot of ‘preparation’; make calls to ‘safe’ alternatives; email the clients instead; experience the need for lots of coffee breaks etc …. they may even do the calls, but extremely poorly.

What they will find difficult to achieve comfortably, are the 10 required calls….

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Marker Behaviours

The Emotional Short Circuit results in any of 4 different forms of behavioural ‘markers’.
Using the telephone call task as an example:


The sales person will put off making the telephone calls by finding alternative things to do, such as more research on LinkedIn, enjoying too many coffee breaks, sending emails rather then making phone calls, making less threatening calls to ‘safer’ clients etc.


The sales person makes the 10 calls eventually, but the effort it takes and the discomfort they experience, means that the calls are often more mechanical, ‘scripted’ and poor. As they do not feel relaxed, and their skills and knowledge are used less effectively.


The sales person will find someone, or something, to blame for their lack of success on the phone. In this way, they can justify why they are avoiding challenging their internal discomfort and remaining in their safe comfort zone. Popular targets can include client workload or accessibility, gatekeepers and receptionists, the economy, the regulator or their lack client information.


The sales person may have already been ‘avoiding’, ‘blaming’ or ‘coping’ but when their lack of success on the telephone is discussed with their Manager or Coach, they will deny there is a problem and try to brush over the issue rather than ask for help. In a similar way to blaming, they avoid challenging themselves and remain in their safe comfort zone.

“With over 900 studies to its name, the SPQ*GOLD® is one of the world’s most validated applications in use today for assessing salespeople.”

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