Thursday, March 29, 2012

Four other situations people would rather avoid than speaking in public

Salespeople sometimes refer to cold calling as smile and dial, and some would prefer to avoid doing it. Back in February 2010 Sandler Training (a sales and management training company) had Infosurv conduct an online survey of 1226 people about attitudes towards sales.

One question they asked was which of five situations people would rather avoid:

1. Being picked as a surprise guest on a reality TV show
2. Getting a root canal
3. Giving up sex for a month
4. Making cold sales calls for a week
5. Speaking in public

As shown above (click to enlarge the chart), 33% wanted to avoid getting a root canal, 23% wanted to avoid cold calls, 18% didn't want to give up sex, 15% wanted to avoid the reality TV appearance, but only 13% wanted to avoid speaking in public.

Results from that question were written about by Reuters news service on May 19th - with a headline comparing cold calling and giving up sex.

I previously blogged about how three years ago the American Association of Endodontists (AAE) put out a press release comparing four other situations. They found that flying on an airplane during a storm (57%) was feared slightly more than getting a root canal (52%). Getting a root canal was feared more than either public speaking or a job interview (42% for either).

Other results from the Infosurv survey were described in a press release distributed on May 17th that no longer is shown on the Sandler web site, and were written about later with more detail in the Orange County Register.

A second question asked which of the following professions do you trust the least (or most). As shown above, politicians were trusted far less than salespersons, lawyers, journalists, bankers, or mechanics. Note that the answers weren’t perfectly consistent, because the order wasn’t reversed when the question was changed from who do you trust least to who do you trust most.

A third question asked in which industry do you trust salespeople the least. As shown above, car salesman were least trusted, followed by those in financial services, business services, and retail. Again, the rankings weren’t perfectly consistent when the question was changed from least to most trusted.

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