The Psychology of

Sales Call Reluctance

by George W. Dudley

& Shannon L. Goodson


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One of the things that helps distinguish Behavioral Sciences’ product array from competitors is our relentless commitment to mainstream scientific research. The following is a sample of the scope of Behavioral Sciences’ scientific/academic papers and presentations.

RESEARCH

GENERAL STUDIES

Incidence of Sales Call Reluctance: a Multi-National Study. Do salespeople today have more or less call reluctance?  The answer is more. Approximately 90% of the salespeople included in the study (197,076) had one or more forms of sales call reluctance. Denmark had the highest incidence of sales call reluctance, followed closely by Australia, Singapore, Hong Kong and South Africa while the U.S. had the lowest incidence. Common to salespeople in all 10 countries was the fear of appearing pushy or intrusive.

RECRUITING & SALES PERFORMANCE STUDIES

Customer Engagement Discomfort in Retail Sales Environments: Shy Salespeople?  New study reveals high incidence of sales call reluctance in retail salespeople. 43.3% of the salespeople studied failed to engage walk-in customers on a consistent basis.

GENDER, DIVERSITY, & CROSS CULTURAL STUDIES

Men or Women: Who’s Leading the Chase for New Customers? According to a study of 9,292 saleswomen and 20,029 salesmen across ten nations, saleswomen today are no more reticent to initiate contact with prospective buyers than salesmen.

LEADERSHIP & CAREER ADVANCEMENT STUDIES

Women Managers: Self-Imposed Barriers to Career Advancement. Want a shot at that senior VP title and a corner office to go along with it? If you’re a woman you’d better sharpen your networking and self-promotion skills.  In today’s Fortune 500, women account for only 8% of executive vice presidents and above. In a comparison of senior execs and mid-level female managers, Dudley, Goodson and Weeks found senior execs far outweighed the mid-level managers in the use of networking and self-promotion strategies for career advancement.  The mid-level managers reported significant discomfort engaging in these types of strategies preferring instead to rely on sheer perseverance and hard work.

MOTIVATION & GOAL FOCUS STUDIES

A“Goal Allergic” Salespeople:  is Goal Setting Always Helpful? Not necessarily.  Some salespeople actually do worse when held to strict performance goals.  These individuals over-pressurize themselves and tend to worry about the goal instead of focusing on the daily activities needed to accomplish the goal. Goal allergic salespeople, therefore, may be de-motivated by the imposition or use of the same performance targets and objectives that other salespeople may find necessary and helpful.

TEST METHODS & MODE OF ADMINISTRATION STUDIES

Effects of Administration Method, Gender and Country on Exaggeration. Do people present a more favorable picture of themselves when they complete on-line tests? The answer is yes, but it depends on which country you’re in. The researchers compared exaggeration rates of 4,247 adults who either completed a test on-line or by using a “paper-and-pencil” version. The results did not vary in the U.S., but did in other countries.

ALL STUDIES BY YEAR

All studies listed by year.