100-Pound Telephone Paralysis of the Mind

At one point in my life, I sold cars. Two life lessons I learned were about tire kickers and the 100-pound telephone.


The 100-pound telephone really does exist. I saw it many times.


It was especially evident on the quiet, slow days. Days with very few people driving in to tour the car lot. Prospect traffic, near zero.

Doorstep Publications 100-Pound Telephone

Go-Getters and Coasters

In an automobile dealership there are two groups of salespeople. There are the coasters and the go-getters.

For the go-getters, days like this were tackled as an opportunity to check-in with people they previously sold and to follow-up with prospects.

For the coasters, well, they continued to do what they always did, stand at the window watch, wait, and hope.

From time-to-time, I would suggest to the salespeople at the window, “How about making a few calls to some of your sold customers? See if you can shake the tree. Maybe get a referral.

In response, I would hear a chorus of answers like:

  • My sold list is loyal to me. They’ll call me when they are ready to buy again.
  • My customer list is made up of top tier clients, they are solid, they don’t need to hear from me.

The one that use to irk me the most was, “They don’t want to hear from me. They’ll just see it as a nuisance call.

100-Pound Telephone Syndrome

The 100-pound telephone syndrome, any excuse not to pick-it-up!


How about you? Have you experienced the 100-pound telephone syndrome?


Do you regularly follow-up with the people important to you and your future?


Do you actually schedule time to reach out to your supporters, your network, the people who influence you?


Regardless of your life situation – professional, industrial, sales, management, self-employed, network marketer, just starting out, whatever – there are people who helped you get to where you are today and there are people who can help you grow even more.

It Is Not Easy

Are you maintaining a relationship with them?

It is our human nature to think no need to call, send a note, or follow-up. We rationalize it as, “I will just be a nuisance.

I get it. I really do.

Picking-up the telephone to call someone you might have only exchanged business cards with or perhaps someone you met through an associate or friend, is not easy.

It requires a lot of muscle to pick-up the 100-pound telephone.

Yet in that very act of reaching out you are doing something others are not. You are strengthening your relationship and expanding your opportunities with those people.

I was reminded of this recently. A client mentioned he was not getting any call backs from an event he attended. I asked, “Have you reached out to the people you want a call back from?

Silence. The answer was loud and clear. The 100-pound telephone syndrome

Question: Have you experienced the 100-pound telephone? What works for you?

Let us know in the comments below.

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