For Sales Managers, Recruiters and Hiring Agents

You don’t need psychological pixie dust to scan candidates for call reluctance®. Here are some insider tips you can use right now.

  1. Don’t be fooled by the red-carpet effect. Candidates who invest too much energy into looking good don’t have a lot left over for prospecting, which they often find humiliating and demeaning.
  2. Avoid virtual success. Is your energetic prospective recruit “empowered”? “Grounded”? “Enabled”? Do they arch their eyebrows and boast of being “values-driven”? Of having “integrity”? If so, stop, squint, and look much closer. Excessive use of semi-psychological trash words could point to someone who is a preoccupied, self-help junkie—always searching, never finding, no time left over to prospect. Visualizing new business is not the same as prospecting.
  3. Demo for dollars. Trainers, how your new trainees see you manage your call reluctance is the best predictor of how they will manage theirs—for the rest of their sales career.
  4. Sunny side always up? Listen for rigid, unrealistic optimism throughout the interview. Contrary to popular mythology, frozen optimism is not always characteristic of high self-esteem. When it comes to sales selection it can also indicate entrenched emotional denial.
  5. High potential, higher cost? Listen carefully when interviewing experienced salespeople. Count the number of times you hear complimentary statements and direct or indirect criticisms. Some salespeople criticize far more often than they compliment. Some never compliment at all. Ever. They could have low customer retention rates for which they refuse to accept any responsibility.  They disrupt entire teams and offices. They waste endless hours arguing. They interview well and may seem assertive, but these other behaviors could surface if you notice more criticisms than compliments.
  6. Alphabet soup. Examine business cards and social media profiles—especially of experienced salespeople—for the number of letters, degrees, awards, and affiliations appended to their name. Some can be instrumental. Too many can be trouble, particularly when experienced salespeople combine them with a euphemism for sales such as “Cosmic Consultant.” That toxic mixture can indicate discomfort associated with prospecting, offset by the “Don’t look at me, look at the BMW I drive.” syndrome.
  7. Pivot. It’s cheaper to prevent call reluctance than to correct it. Determine your new rookies’ strengths and vulnerabilities within the different call reluctance types, then aim their initial prospecting efforts toward the markets and methods where they show the least emotional resistance, while simultaneously fortifying them with coaching so they can eventually work all their markets without discomfort.
  8. Don’t play trivia. Don’t be too quick to be impressed by the prospective recruit who’s asking all the probing questions. True, they have the motivation to spend hours memorizing your company’s annual report so they can recite sections back to you verbatim. It is impressive. Trouble is, that’s all they like to do. To them, acquiring brochures, proposals, and charts is an end in itself. They are squandering their career getting ready to prospect. Someday. Maybe.
  9. Political Intrigue. During your interviews, does your prospective rookie “share” sensitive information about one of your competitors? You know, what’s really going down over there? Information you had to promise on peril of your soul not to repeat? Don’t act on it yet. This type of call reluctant salesperson leaks information on corporate intrigues every day. It makes them feel powerful. In control. Something they never really feel inside. Driven by an insatiable appetite for approval and a persistent fear of confrontation, they are on the phone daily, trading in the currency of rumor and gossip. Even if they have to manufacture the information themselves. Which they often do. For some reason, however, they do not demonstrate an equal facility for calling prospective clients. They “don’t like the rejection.”

How many sales are you or your team losing to call reluctance? Find out more about BSRP’s thought-leading practices and procedures for managing call reluctance and explore our range of assessments, sales training, and our latest research. Take our 10-question survey and find out your risk for call reluctance. To learn more contact us today!