Most sales pitches are fundamentally flawed. Reps interrupt people in the middle of their busy day to talk about themselves, their product and their company. After all that’s what sales is about… selling. Reps thus call and try to push their agenda on the prospect.

Prospects can care less about you, your product or your company. Like everybody, they care only about themselves. Prospects have learned that reps waste their time. What should take 30 seconds drags on for 30 minutes. Reps prey on their civility which while useful in normal social situations is disadvantageous in dealing with reps. They learn to cut the reps off and even hang up. Prospects may find this stressful but they feel compelled to look after their own best interests.

Reps grow increasingly desperate as deadlines loom and quotas are not met. They risk shame, ridicule, reprimands and even their jobs. They can lose face, self-esteem and get depressed. They can suffer economic hardship.

So they dial faster and harder. They seek some magic close technique that will put them back on top. They seek the unattainable and don’t find it. They may stare at the phone and hate their job and life.

Call reluctance is the result of not getting desirable outcomes. If you put quarters in a slot machine and it rarely pays off you will quite rationally be reluctant to continue. It’s a loser’s game. Sales is like that slot machine which often pays off just enough to keep you on the phone while never getting ahead of the game.

If the slot machine never pays off, call paralysis sets in. This is the last fatal stage for a rep on the way out the door.

So how do we win this game? Certainly not as it’s been played. Not by seeking the mythical close that will make us heroes. No, we need a systematic approach that skew the odds in our favor so the slot machine becomes a tsunami of money.

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