Kicking Call Reluctance to the Curb, Part One

Our work days can fill up quickly. No matter what roles we are in. No matter if we are externally facing with our clients, or internally facing and supporting the team's efforts. Emails. Texts. LinkedIn messages. Voicemails. Video calls. So many mediums. So little time.


Some of us are good at being intentional with our time and our calendars, some of us want to be, and some of us...well, there's always room for improvement, right?


This new so-called hybrid work environment is here to stay for the foreseeable future, and in my opinion, it's not doing us any favors. Don't get me wrong, I know there are many benefits to having so many people from so many different geographies instantly accessible virtually. But, the new working "standard" is getting more complicated as the days and weeks go by. Who's virtual? Who's in-person? Who should have been in-person, but chose to be virtual (or needed to be)? Who double-booked themselves by accident because virtual and in-person commitments overlapped or collided? And on and on.


Our schedules are complicated.


What about our prospecting efforts?

How many outbound calls do you make each day? What about each week? Are you habitual and intentional with your prospecting efforts?


Phone calling statics vary. Some sources say business to business sales professionals make, on average, 35 outbound calls a day. Within your industry and your own goals, is that spot on? Too high? Too low? Do you know, mathematically, how many calls you should be making each day? to get to your new business goals each month, each quarter and each year?


It can be all to easy to tell ourselves the reason we aren't prospecting as much as we want to is because of how busy and over-scheduled we are. Maybe it's a time management discussion? Or a time prioritization discussion? Or maybe it's just so dang easy to blame our calendars instead of digging deeper.


What if we are subconsciously sabotaging our prospecting efforts. Claiming we are extremely busy; but in reality, maybe actually suffering from call reluctance?


Gasp.


I coach a lot of sales professionals. And call reluctance is a real thing. Even if only talked about in private conversations.


Most put up a good front. And pretend they make prospecting calls all of the time. It's easy to accidentally lump all prospecting efforts together in one breath, marketing campaigns, webinars, invitations to events, networking, conferences, cold or warm introduction emails, and of course phone calls.


Years ago, pre-pandemic of course, a well-established sales professional told me it took him 100 outbound calls to people he didn't already know to make one new prospective client appointment. His meticulously tracked data accounted for wrong numbers, wrong contacts, voicemail, and all of the other scenarios one experiences when making calls.


When was the last time you intentionally made 100 outbound calls? Tracking the conversion data yourself?


My remaining blog posts for August (each Wednesday) will focus on call reluctance, today is part one of a four-part series.


Here's your homework.


  1. First, guess how many calls you made yesterday, and the day before that.

  2. Next, look at your phone's call log and actually count how many outbound calls you made yesterday and the day before that. To prospective clients, to current clients, heck, even to the dentist to change that appointment (again).

  3. Now, write down how many calls you want to make over the next week - either one total number or a per day goal.

  4. And, you guessed it, track the number of outbound calls you actually make.