3 ways to conquer call reluctance

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Do you ever find yourself putting off or avoiding certain tasks at work altogether (such as making phone calls) because of anxiety, fear of rejection, procrastination or simply because you don’t enjoy doing it?

We’ve all been there at one time or other, but the reality is making calls is essential for agents to stay connected to clients and foster a strong pipeline for future business.

While most agents identify the importance of making anniversary calls, prospecting calls to their database and cold calling new leads, most avoid calls like the plague for fear of conflict or being perceived as an intrusive or pushy salesperson.

Here are three ways to conquer a fear of the phone and move past call reluctance.

1. Get them out of the way early.

The best way to overcome call reluctance is to get into the habit of making your calls first thing in the morning when your intention and motivation are at their highest and you’re less likely to get side-tracked or interrupted.

Dedicate 30 to 45 minutes each morning to calling warm leads from your database, prospecting for new business, responding to new enquiries, asking for referrals and checking in with current and past clients. Start with easier calls first to build up your confidence and gain momentum. Make your morning calls the priority and once you’re done you’ll be free to get on with the rest of your day.

If you’re one to battle with procrastination look to comedic superstar Jerry Seinfeld’s productivity strategy to help you stay motivated, build momentum and to consistently fill your morning call quota.

Back in the day while software developer Brad Isaac was performing stand-up he asked Seinfeld if he had any tips for a young comic. Jerry explained the importance of writing every day and that the best way to stay on track was to hang a large wall calendar in the workspace. For each day he completed a writing task (or in an agent’s case making 30 minutes of calls) he’d put a big satisfying red ‘X’ over that day on the calendar.

The idea is after a few successful days, you’ll form a chain of ‘Xs’ where your goal is to keep that going and not break the chain for as long as possible. Go on, take up the challenge and see how many phone call days you can get in a row. You could even start a ‘don’t break the chain’ contest with your colleagues.

2. Prepare scripts.

If you’re anxious about becoming tongue-tied and not knowing what to say during a call create some prompts or scripts to keep in front of you. Rehearse and write down responses to the different scenarios you’ll likely come across (interested buyers, disinterested buyers, potential sellers etc.). By arming yourself with useful and considered responses you’ll feel more at ease and capable of making successful and productive calls no matter the situation.

However, it’s important to be authentic and allow the conversation to follow a natural progression. Avoid telemarketing territory and don’t read your prepared scripts word-for-word to potential clients. The prepared lines are simply there to give you peace of mind, make you feel more confident and to only act as prompts if you get particularly stuck.

3. Set daily goals.

The last thing to do to put yourself on the path to sales call success is to set small specific and realistic daily goals. This may be to make between five and 10 meaningful contacts in the next hour or to book three appraisal appointments this week. Little targets such as these will push you to keep going and help you feel a sense of satisfaction and accomplishment when they’re complete.

If you dread making calls aim to change your way of thinking about them. Before you make a call focus on the positives (opportunity for new business) rather than the negative (fear of rudeness or rejection) and how you’re hoping to assist the person on the other end of the phone line. If you view every call as an opportunity to find buyers or get a listing you’re in a much better mindset than a lot of other agents. Always think about the best possible outcomes rather than the worst-case scenario.

Remember avoiding something you fear will only increase fear of the thing itself. So, take a deep breath, pick up the phone and make this the first day in your longest call chain yet.

For more tips on prospecting take a look at these six steps to effective outbound calls and five rules for following up leads.

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Larissa Gardner
Larissa Gardner is the Marketing Manager at arguably Australia’s best looking real estate website homely.com.au. With a superb devotion to product innovation, user-centred design and innovative marketing platforms for real estate agents, homely.com.au helps millions of Australians find their next home.

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