Overcoming Call Reluctance (Part I)

man talking on the phone

There was great feedback during my recent Dial In webinar on call reluctance. The one that stands out for me the most was from a participant who commented that they didn’t realize other people were struggling with the same issues around picking up the phone.

I believe that everyone responsible for outbound calls struggles with reluctance occasionally. I certainly do.

What are my favourite tips for leaving call reluctance behind? Which ones will work best for you?

Identify Your Negative Thoughts:

There’s a lot of research available pointing to the fact that about 80% of our daily thoughts are negative. Yikes. This goes back to our cave days when such thinking kept us alert … and alive. Today these thoughts not only prevent us from doing things we want to do, but they also convince us of things that we know, logically, simply aren’t true. For the majority of us, when we make outbound calls that are well crafted, people don’t yell at us, hang up on us, or create an experience that is devastating. But when we go to pick up the phone, our brain insists this is possible.

The first step to overcoming this is to write down your negative thoughts. The next time you go to make outbound calls and find yourself procrastinating, write down what you are thinking. Often, when you see these thoughts on paper, you can easily understand that they are silly. And once you identify them as silly, they cease to have power over your actions. Give it a try and tell me what happens.

Get Them Done First Thing:

I’m tapping into Brian Tracy’s Eat That Frog … and it really works. Set yourself up to get your calls done first thing each day. Get started at 8 or 8:30 in the morning. When I am well organized about who I need to call, I can make about 10 calls an hour. So, depending on how many calls you need to make, you could be done by 9:30. That means for the rest of the day you won’t be carrying the weight of guilt over not making the calls. You’ll be able to give more focus and energy to your other tasks. Procrastination takes energy. Getting past it is electrifying!

Focus on Creating a New Habit:

Eileen Pease of Dynamic Learning joined me for November’s Dial In webinar to share her knowledge of how our brain works and how we can strive to create new habits. Two things she shared really impacted me: 1) our brains detest change; and 2) our brains don’t know we’re in charge. What?! This was a light-bulb moment for me in terms of things I want to change in my own life these days.

Eileen shared information about BJ Fogg and Tiny Habits. Instead of trying to make a BIG change, work at making small changes attached to something you are already doing. In Eileen’s case, she’s dissolving her own call reluctance by sitting at her computer each morning but instead of opening her inbox first, she opens her CRM and starts making calls.

I’ll include a few more ideas in next week’s post. In the meantime, share your experience with call reluctance in the comment section below. I promise you’ll be helping other readers.


6 thoughts on “Overcoming Call Reluctance (Part I)”

    • Thanks, Peggy. When it comes to reaching out to prospects, we call need a pep talk from time to time! Enjoy your upcoming phone conversations.


Leave a comment

What's The Phone Lady doing?


  • Remote learning experiences + one-on-one coaching for women entrepreneurs (More info about this three-year program here.)
  • Team and individual coaching with a national moving company to refine their sales process
  • Remote half-day training for provincial tourism representatives
  • Remote seven-part sales training program for US-based SaaS
  • Remote webinar on accounts receivable communication for industrial-services company
  • Remote webinar on validation to college students in entrepreneur program
  • In-person workshop on job search skills for women in the trades
  • Remote half-day webinar on written correspondence to customers

Do you or your team want to improve your communication skills? Do you have a communication question or challenge you'd like to discuss? This quick-to-fill-out form is easy to use and you'll hear from Mary Jane very soon.