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The 12 Types of Cold Call Reluctance for Recruiters

by | Apr 2, 2015 | Recruiter Training, Top Echelon Blog

Cold call reluctance is an emotional short circuit that diverts energy from the act of prospecting to the act of procrastinating.

Instead of making calls, call reluctant salespeople are busy preparing to prepare and avoiding the phone.  They allow their fears to stand in the way of their goals—and it extracts a high emotional and financial cost.

I’d like to point out that cold call reluctance is an internal roadblock.  This is not something that exists in any place other than your mind.

If I asked you to bring me a jar of “call reluctance,” you would not be able to do it.  So there is no “call reluctance” in the world, there are only recruiters thinking scary thoughts that make them reluctant to get on the phone.

Call reluctance researchers George Dudley and Shannon Goodson report that “as many as 80% of all salespeople who fail within their first year do so because of insufficient prospecting activity.”

In the search industry, we know that the vast majority of newbies who attempt our business fail within the first year and much of that failure comes from call reluctance.  From a management standpoint, it’s important to understand the types of call reluctance and their cures.

Dudley and Goodson came up with the following list of 12 types of cold call reluctance (excerpted from The Psychology of Sales Call Reluctance):

  1. Doomsayer—Worries, will not take social risks (loses three new accounts per month)
  2. Over-preparer—Over-analyzes, underacts (sells at 43% of quota)
  3. Hyper-Pro—Obsessed with image and looking good, but is rated only average in presentation skills.  Confuses packaging with prospecting.
  4. Stage Fright—Fears group presentations (loses $10,800 in annual gross sales)
  5. Role Rejection—Secretly ashamed of sales career; deflects identity (loses four accounts per month)
  6. Yielder—Fears intruding on others (impedes success of TQM programs)
  7. Socially Self-Conscious—Imitated by up-market clients (sells 33% under quota)
  8. Separationist—Won’t mix business and friends (loses three accounts per month)
  9. Emotionally Unemancipated—Won’t mix business and family (sells 15% under quota)
  10. Referral Aversion—Fears distributing existing business or client relationships (sells 19% under quota)
  11. Telephobia—Fears using the telephone for prospecting (loses $10,000 in commissions annually)
  12. Oppositional Reflex—Argues, blames,  and rebuffs attempts at coaching (loses nine new accounts per year)

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Gary Stauble, a guest writer for the Top Echelon Recruiter Training Blog, is the principal consultant for The Recruiting Lab, a coaching company that assists firm owners and solo recruiters in generating more profit in less time.  For more information or to schedule a complimentary coaching session, visit The Recruiting Lab’s website or call 408.849.4756.

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