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Coping with call reluctance (part 3)

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Our series on the topic of call reluctance and aversion continues with two further types of people particularly anxious about making cold calls to find new business.

The image-conscious type
This is prevalent in producers who try to overcome self-confidence and self-esteem insecurities by making a show of the trappings of success. They invest heavily in the appearances of wealth and achievement. Ostentatious in their displays of success, these types maintain a constant vigilance against any threat to their advertised respect and worth.

In addition, prospecting is beneath them and is seen as just plain undignified. A salesperson I know fits this mold. He wears so much gold jewelry that he looks like an executive version of Mr. T. He employs assistants to make cold calls for him, due to his lack of time. His production is low because he is still “streamlining his operation.”

He has a condescending way of speaking softly that makes others uncomfortable. When he is in the right mood, he manages to close a few large sales per year (which he brags about), although his overall profit margin is barely enough to support his needs. He continues to avoid prospecting until he’s financially forced to make calls.

These salespeople have the “Superman Salesperson Complex.” They attempt to shortcut the sales process by skipping the all-important building blocks to success. They want to reach up, grab the golden ring at the top of the staircase and make that big sale. But they don’t want to struggle in the trenches with other salespeople who gut it out. This can happen to those sales producers who have transferred to a new location or a new company.

“Position acceptance” type
Call aversion, with regard to position acceptance, occurs when an individual is embarrassed or apologetic in the role of salesperson. There is often a suppressed sense of dedication and zeal because this job or position is not considered professionally impressive. Such individuals sense that they are a disappointment to some significant person in their life such as a family member.

These producers may suffer periods of job-related depression while pretending to be committed to their positions. They never fully believe the job will ever become a career. They may not even believe that sales is worthwhile.

Mind over what’s the matter
So how does someone overcome this roadblock? In my own career, I realized that I am providing a service to the client. Adopting this new mindset–that you are someone providing a useful service to others–will make all the difference.