Measuring Sales Call Reluctance

Sales assessments need to tell you more than just about a person's personality, will they sell?There are three key questions a good sales assessment should answer about your applicant for a sales role:

  • How much is this individual likely to sell or produce?
  • How long will this individual take to produce it?
  • How much will it cost for the individual to reach their production potential?

Anxieties About Selling Drive Sales Behaviour

When assessing sales people many providers will only recommend a Sales people cannot fear selling or being pushy personality based assessment tool.  While we believe personality is important in sales it is not the only important measure to assist in predicting sales success. 

Anxieties tend to drive behaviour alongside personality preferences - fear of doing something usually means we will avoid that activity or at least postpone the activity.

Stage Fright is a classic example where the person fears presenting so much that they may avoid presenting or be overly nervous when presenting. 

The SPQ_GOLD™ is not a personality inventory:

  • The SPQ_GOLD™ is a behavioral tool designed to measure anxieties or fears; fears drive behaviours such as call reluctance
  • It is not about “who the person is”, rather it is about “what the person will or will not do”, in different situations
  • The SPQ_GOLD™ measures anxieties, but also goals and motivation which are critical to sales and other success

On the surface the SPQ_GOLD™ is very sales oriented, but the information that can be gleaned by the tool is usually extremely valuable for both sales and non sales roles.

The SPQ_GOLD™ provides information valuable for many roles and can diagnose development needs for people:

The tool is also very effective at giving information about behaviours in non-sales people, as anxieties affect us all. It can give information about the following competencies:The SPQ measures competencies that are needed in many roles

  • Influence
  • Manage conflicts
  • Build relationships
  • Sell ideas
  • Communicate
  • Achieve results
  • Openness to feedback

We would recommend the SPQ_GOLD™ be used alongside a robust personality tool when assessing for sales people. Often we will recommend the following tools together:

Call Reluctance Impacts on BusinessTo achieve in sales you have to get out there and prospectResults

If your sales team is performing below your expectations then the reason is probably due to Call Reluctance.

Call Reluctance has the following aspects:

  • It is a reluctance to initiate enough contact with enough prospective customers and make the most of established relationships, to meet sales targets.  
  • Has 12 different faces, all but two are learnt behaviour which is good news, because like all behaviour, they can be unlearnt.  However, there is always a cost in time, effort and/or money.

The Costs of Call Reluctance

Research indicates that a call reluctant salesperson can cost your company 15 new units of business per month.

Through the twelve faces of Call Reluctance, your company could be losing:



Doomsayer™(Energy diverted away from selling activities and into over-vigilant preparation for low probability catastrophes.)

Loses 3 new accounts each month

Over Preparer™ (Energy habitually over-invested in analysing at the expense of prospecting. Preparation out of control.)

Sells only 43% of annual quota

Hyper Professional™ (Energy lost to prospecting by habitual over-investment in the mannerisms and appearances of success)

Presentation skills rated only average

Stage Fright™ (Opportunities to prospect by making presentations before groups of people neglected or by-passed due to an emotional discomfort associated with making group presentations.)

Loses $13,800 in annual gross sales

Role Rejection™ (Energy lost due to an unexpressed, unresolved sense of guilt or shame associated with being in sales)

Four fewer new accounts each month

Yielder™ (Hesitation to prospect for new business due to a reflexive fear of being considered intrusive or pushy.)

Impedes success of TQM programs

Social Self Consciousness™ (Emotional hesitation to initiate contact with up-market prospective buyers.  Habitually intimidated by persons of wealth, prestige or power.)

Sells 33% less of annual quota

Seperationist™ (Emotionally hesitant to mix business with friendship.)

Loses three new accounts per month

Unemancipated™ (Emotionally hesitant to mix business with family.)

Sells 15.5% less annual quota

Referral Aversion™ (May experience little distress initiating contact or closing the sale, only to experience emotional resistance asking their new client for referrals.)

Sales 19% under quota

Telephobia™ (Fear response occurs when trying to use the phone for self-promotional or prospecting purposes.)

Earns $12,800 less commission per annum

Oppositional Reflex™ (Another measure of motivation allocated to a fear related behaviour.  High approval needs together with low self-esteem.  Desire for feedback mixed with a fear of the feedback they desire.)

Defaults nine new accounts each year

Statistically validated results from over 700 studies worldwide by Behaioural Sciences Research Press*

Purchase the Sales Preference Questionnaire Online

If you wish to buy the Sales Preference Questionnaire please do so through your Paypal account it is $300 per candidate. Pleaset let us know if the assessment is being used for recruitment or development:

All prices exclude 15% GST

We have other psychometric assessment tools in the following categories:Other types of assessments that might be used alongside personality assessments

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