The Psychology of

Sales Call Reluctance

by George W. Dudley

& Shannon L. Goodson

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Call Reluctance®

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An in-depth look at what Sales Call Reluctance is and how it effects sales.


Chances are it’s not what you think. Numerous BSRP studies based on huge samples of real sales professionals show sales call reluctance, not the fear rejection, inadequate training, low self-esteem, poor self-confidence, lack of product knowledge, low self-discipline, ambiguous goals, the fear of success, or the fear of failure, is the primary reason for underperformance in sales. Nothing else even comes close. And, the belief call reluctance is just discomfort using the telephone to prospect is an urban myth.

What is call reluctance? Why does it matter? Sales call reluctance consists of all the thoughts, feelings and “avoidance” behaviors that conspire to keep otherwise talented, motivated, potential high-level salespeople from ever earning what they’re worth. Does it really matter? That’s for you to decide. But here are two statistics to consider: Using a unique state-of-the-science diagnostic sales assessment, we found up to 80% of all new producers selected into sales positions across companies and industries fail to complete their first year in sales. Why? The logic of their defeat is straightforward: Despite extensive sales training, expensive sales supports, generous commission schedules, effective advertising support and competitive products, they don’t sell enough. Why? Because they don’t have enough prospective buyers to sell to. For them, prospecting is emotionally uncomfortable, so they can’t, don’t or won’t initiate contact with prospective buyers on a sufficient basis. The outcome is predictable. Sales training, generous commissions and advertising support are frozen, mere added expenses, unable to return a cent until and unless salespeople make contact with prospective buyers in sufficient numbers.

But, it doesn’t stop there. Here’s the second statistic: Forty percent of all experienced, high-producing sales professionals readily admit to one or more episodes of sales call reluctance severe enough to threaten their continuation in sales. That means 40% of the salespeople organizations typically rely on the most to meet production goals may be at risk.

Does call reluctance matter? We think it does. So do large and small sales organizations across the globe. They know during troubled economic times, effectively competing for new business is critical, and every sale has to count. We’re pleased they trust BSRP applications to help. Worldwide, more sales organizations use BSRP applications like the Sales Preference Questionnaire (SPQ*GOLD®) to take the sting out of prospecting than any other call reluctance management tool. We invite you to find out why. Can we help you? Frankly, we don’t know. But, we invite you to find out more about BSRP’s thought-leading practices and procedures for managing sales call reluctance. Our comprehensive approach is not suitable for every organization. So, let’s learn together if BSRP can help your sales team sell more, faster.

Curious about underlying technical considerations? Then browse the titles of some our scientific presentations under research. Explore the range of exclusive BSRP assessments currently on offer. See what’s new on BSRP TelEXpress, our video broadcasting section by browsing “broadcasts”. And there’s much more….

BSRP is a core group of technical specialists with a large international reach. (Relax. We’re not one of those web based, pop-up “virtual” companies working out of a home or post office box number, making sensational claims one month and gone the next.) We occupy two BSRP-owned office buildings in the North Dallas, Texas area. Give us a call. Drop by for a visit. We work closely with our small-but-growing worldwide network of professional associates and we’re happy to share more with you about who we are and what we do. During normal working hours, our phones are answered by some of the nicest and most helpful people you will ever have the pleasure of talking to. But, that’s something you should really discover for yourself. When you call, ask for your free copy of our special report, Visibility Management for the Modern Sales Professional. Thanks for visiting!