The conflict most people experience when they try to stand up, step out and make their contributions visible is not pleasant.  To some, it’s gut-wrenchingly stressful.  Left unattended in certain professions like sales, it’s career lethal.

Each time we try to self-promote, this corrosive conflict gets re-experienced.  Eventually, through repetition and association, it solidifies into a mindless habit.  Once formed into a habit, we become uncomfortable every time we try to draw attention to the positive “features and benefits” that characterize us.  All the conflicts, hesitations and fears associated with making first contact for career-advancement purposes, can be collected into a common cluster, technically called “Inhibited Social Contact Initiation Syndrome (ISCIS)” and nicknamed the fear of self-promotion.  This fear is real and it has measurable consequences.

When the fear of self-promotion specifically contaminates salespeople, it’s called Sales Call Reluctance® because it places an artificially low ceiling on the number of first contacts which can be initiated with prospective buyers on a consistent daily basis.  Some salespeople only make a fraction of the calls they could.  Others make even fewer.  Some don’t make any.  They can’t.  For them, prospecting for new business is emotionally out of bounds.  Cut off from opportunities to sell, their sales careers flounder and flop, until finally, they’re finished.

Time and time again, throughout the last thirty years, BSRP’s applied and theoretical call reluctance research has shown that the fear is real, it is measurable, it can undermine careers, and the first place you’ll feel call reluctance is in your wallet.  Cross–industry studies conducted by BSRP show that 80% of all new salespeople fail to complete their first year in sales.  The reason is they don’t sell enough.  They don’t sell enough because they don’t have enough prospective buyers to sell to.  They don’t have enough people to sell to because they don’t prospect enough.  They don’t prospect enough because it’s too stressful.  And it doesn’t stop there.  Approximately 40% of all veteran producers admit to one or more episodes of sales call reluctance severe enough to threaten their continuation in sales.  Call reluctance claims more otherwise promising sales careers each year than all other factors combined.  And it can be just as destructive in non-sales settings.

Could call reluctance be threatening your career?  If you think you could be suffering from sales call reluctance, the people at Behavioral Sciences Research Press can provide you with some valuable information that could help get you where you want to go.  Go to their website .

Susan Claunch

Media Productions & Communications

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  1. July 20, 2013 at 5:12 pm

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