Dew Recommends: Overcoming Call Reluctance with Visual Cues

Brent is one of my great friends and a former colleague, and he loves to dial. He wakes up every morning and literally can’t wait to hit the phones. But most of us are not like Brent; we have to get creative with overcoming call reluctance.

Paper Clips - Overcoming Call Reluctance

James Clear recently wrote a great article for titled How to Stick With Good Habits Every Day by Using the ‘Paper Clip Strategy.’ In it, he describes a simple system that a young stockbroker used to hit his daily goals:

Overcoming Call Reluctance with the Paper Clip Strategy:

He simply placed two jars on his desk. One was empty, and one had 120 paper clips in it – one for every dial he wanted to make that day. Every time he dialed the phone, he moved a paper clip from one jar to the other.

This kind of system (I call it a “countdown” system) is genius in its simplicity. Among other reasons, James states that these types of visual cues remind you to start a behavior each day:

We often lie to ourselves about our ability to remember to perform a new habit. (“I’m going to start eating healthier. For real this time.”) A few days later, however, the motivation fades and the busyness of life begins to take over again. Hoping you will simply remember to do a new habit is usually a recipe for failure. This is why a visual stimulus, like a bin full of paper clips, can be so useful. It is much easier to stick with good habits when your environment nudges you in the right direction.

Visual Cues for Hitting Your Goals

I use several different kinds of visual cues to help keep me on track, hit my goals, and break through obstacles (like overcoming call reluctance).

Here are three examples of visual cues you can use to hit your sales goals:

My Calendar

I exercise every day at the time of day that works for me. I have a weekly date night with my husband on my calendar. I add anything that I need to do throughout the week to my calendar. I know I’ll do it if I can see that visual reminder on my calendar when I’m planning my day. How does this help with overcoming call reluctance? You have to add dedicated blocks of time for prospecting to your calendar. When you see that you have set that time aside for dialing (and you have other dedicated blocks of time for the rest of your tasks), then you can focus on dialing and nothing else.

Daily Affirmations

I read my affirmations every day as a reminder of what I want to accomplish in life. But I have to keep them in front of me so I’ll remember to do it. I have my affirmations laminated and hanging on my shower wall, so I see them every morning. I have them on my wall in my office, so I see them during my day. I have notes throughout my house to motivate and inspire me. Make sure to reference your dialing results in your daily affirmations (for example, try “I am a dialing machine – I make X calls every day!” or “I eat No’s for Breakfast!“).

“Countdown” Visual Cues + a Personal Reward

I remember last year when I had a big prospecting goal I was trying to hit. For extra motivation, my husband suggested that when I hit my goal, we should go shopping for the new clutch I’d been wanting (note for the guys: this was the ladies’ handbag kind of clutch, not the kind the helps your car shift gears!). I created ten slips of paper representing the last ten appointments I needed to set. With every appointment set, I threw another piece of paper away. Guess what? We went shopping for the new clutch that night.

I really love this paperclip strategy; I’m looking forward to watching my clients succeed using this to overcome call reluctance. If you’re having issues picking up the phone (or sticking with it once you’ve started), then try using visual cues like these – make a game of it, and you’ll be winning in no time.

Check out James Clear’s entire article here…

Until next time—go sell some stuff!


Sign up for my blog updates and never miss a post. My sales and time management tips are always FREE and you can unsubscribe at any time.

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.