Josh has been in sales for nearly six years. He has great customers, and he wants more.

So what’s the problem? By analyzing his prospecting activity, Josh has come to the conclusion that he’s spending an inordinate amount of time volunteering and building relationships. But the activities haven’t added enough new clients to justify his time and financial expenditures.

Josh isn’t the only salesperson who has difficulty transitioning from relationship-building to solid business-building. He isn’t aware of it, but he exhibits a form of Sales Call Reluctance, and it’s interfering with his closing new business.

This type of call reluctance has been identified as Yielder Call Reluctance. It is common among salespeople. Salespeople with Yielder Call Reluctance are people pleasers. They are approval seekers who lack assertiveness. They give their creative control to the prospect and lose connection to their own value.

Salespeople who are nice people:

  • Feel that the prospect would be offended by digging beyond superficial details and facts to get to the real meaning behind their desire for a different result
  • Leave appointments without getting a firm commitment for the next step
  • Have unanswered questions they are afraid to ask
  • String out closing the sale so they don’t appear pushy

Value-added customer service can be the deciding factor when a prospect chooses you over a competitor. But salespeople get their wires crossed when they believe that the buyer-seller relationship is more important than the sale. There must be a balance. In the end, relationships and friendships do not pay the bills. Selling products and services pay the bills.

Don’t get me wrong: relationships are important. But buyers primarily want you to provide solutions.

Non-yielders have a huge advantage. You may meet a salesperson who isn’t any more knowledgeable than you, yet they have a better business. Why? They win the business because they’re assertive and consistent in their prospecting and they ask for the business.

Understanding Yielder Call Reluctance

The first step in overcoming Yielder Call Reluctance is to understand what it is and how it could be affecting you. The following questions may help you determine if you are too nice to close the deal:

  • Are you afraid you will appear pushy or intrusive?
  • Are you afraid to incite conflict by asking qualifier questions?
  • Are you paying for lunches, dinners, and golf games but not breaking even?
  • Are you building a number of relationships but not meeting your production goals?
  • Are you afraid to bother the busy, disturb the indisposed, or interrupt the otherwise engaged?

If you answered “Yes” to three or more of the above questions, you may be suffering from Yielder Sales Call Reluctance. Here are five steps to get you moving forward:

Step 1: Awareness

Be acutely aware of the behavior. When you find yourself yielding, simply observe your actions without criticizing yourself. Your recognition of the problem is a positive step.

Step 2: Assessment

Pinpoint the extent of the problem. Here’s a great tip: Record your prospecting calls—there’s no better way to self-correct. Listen to the general impression your voice is making on the phone.

Step 3: Admission

The hardest part of changing behavior is admitting that the behavior is costing you big bucks.

Step 4: Application

Now you can begin to use proven techniques and overcome the behavior. For example, notice when you don’t ask a question or don’t say something because you become afraid. Top salespeople ask the tough questions when they are in front of their prospects. Mediocre salespeople ask the tough questions as they are driving away from the appointment.

Step 5: Analysis

Continue to examine and analyze your behavior so that you don’t relapse. Role-play daily. 

Click here to read about the other 11 types of Sales Call Reluctance that holds careers hostage. 

Connie 2013Connie Kadansky is the President of Exceptional Sales Performance, an international sales training and coaching practice. She is a recognized expert in identifying and eliminating Sales Call Reluctance. Connie has a proven track record in diverse industries. Because of her expertise, in coaching salespeople to become consistent and comfortable with their prospecting activity, she earned a solo article in the Wall Street Journal. Thanks to a cold call, she was paid to do a radio commercial for American Express. Recently, she was interviewed by Inc. Magazine. Connie helps salespeople get their “ask” in gear. Follow her on Twitter: @ckadansky



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