2 Marketing Guiding Principles that make no sense

Here are 2 guiding principles that make NO SENSE to most but are absolutely fundamental to really doing work that matters.

The marketing “tough” guys and gals out there will flick it off like a used-up virtue-signaling bandaid.

But, for those who want to know, here they are.

1.) Instead of obsessing over the money your customers or clients may give you…why not “obsess over” the service you bring to the table?

Bring back the humanity to what you offer.

Get in their world by calling a cease-fire on using your over-the-moon “results” that may or may not be relevant to their market, list, offerings, etc.
&
2.) Our best prospects need to be discovered (period). Your main gig is to find them. And for your truest top prospects, they won’t be “molded”, “gotten”, or “pushed” into buying.

They’re already educated about their needs, wants, and budget.

They know their business…well.

They’re even aware of the problem(s) they see hence their desire to buy from the right person if their conditions of satisfaction are met. (this one very few know to do or do it consciously)

Maybe that’s you and maybe it ain’t.

That’s ok.

If you start with service on the mind over dollars, you gain both.

And how you get there friends – is by being a market listener, leading with empathy, & determining IF what you have is the answer or not.

Want more?

Actionable Tip: Think about how YOU buy something…is it at first sight?

Or does it take some time to mull things over after watching a video, listening to an expert opinion, looking up reviews, having a few website ganders, and all that?

Until next time, keep learning, keep growing!

Features, Benefits, Detriments

In High Probability Selling (HPS), we sell on features, not benefits.

In most other selling methods, it’s the other way around, and that makes sense.

If your job is to get people to buy from you, benefits are a lot more persuasive than features. Benefits are like bait on the hook.

If your job is to find and identify people who want to buy what you are offering, for their own reasons (without being persuaded), then features work better than benefits. No bait.

So what is the difference between features and benefits? According to Unbounce Academy, “A feature is a part of your product or service, while a benefit is the positive impact it has on your customer.”

I like to clarify that a bit further with some of my own thinking, based on what I learned from working with Jacques Werth and Paul Bunn and others.

A feature is concrete, definite, certain, and immediate. It comes with the product or service and may be an integral part of it.

A benefit is a potential positive outcome for the buyer. If that positive outcome were definite and certain, then it would be a guarantee, which is a feature, not a benefit. Also, the benefit might occur later, and it might be abstract or subjective.

In HPS, we also talk about detriments, which are potential negative outcomes for the buyer. We make certain that the prospect is clear on each of these before we proceed with the sale.

Features, benefits, and detriments all come together during the closing part of the sale, when we are going over the details of the prospect’s Conditions of Satisfaction.

Why are some people unwilling or unable to do High Probability Selling?

I think I have a couple of answers. 

  1. High Probability Selling (HPS) is scary, and more so for some people than others.  It’s easy to imagine a lot of things going horribly wrong, and those fears don’t go away until you actually do it.  I experienced that for a while, until I finally did the full Trust and Respect Inquiry (TRI) all the way through Level 3, and outside of a training situation. 
  2. Habits need to be changed, and especially in the way we interact with other people.  Some students don’t seem to be able to do this, and they keep on acting in ways that don’t work with HPS. 
  3. Change is uncomfortable. 
  4. Resistance to being pushed is a common reflex in a lot of people.  Trying to convince a student that they should do things in a different way can be counterproductive. 
  5. Some people believe that they need to be convinced before they are willing to try HPS.  They live in a world of persuasion, and it is particularly difficult for them to let go of that when selling to other people. 
  6. Small steps toward HPS can have very negative results, depending on what path you take.  A path of continuous improvement is difficult to find.  So much has to come together all at once, and this can be very discouraging. 

I’d love to hear ideas from readers and practitioners of High Probability Selling.

Schedule 2022-04: High Probability Selling Events for April 2020

Sales training courses on High Probability Prospecting and on the High Probability Mindset. Also, an open (free) discussion on Zoom where we talk about High Probability Selling.

See the High Probability Selling Calendar for an updated schedule.


Prospecting Basics Mini-Course: Wed 13 April – 45 Minutes of Zoom for $45 USD

Introduction to High Probability Prospecting, Updated.

Suitable for beginners who have read the book at least once, and also for previous students who want a refresher or an update on HPS Prospecting.

Introduction to the following topics:

  • The basics of how we find people who are likely to do business with us.
  • The basics of how to design a High Probability Prospecting Offer.
  • Reaching out to likely prospects.
  • Delivering an offer.
  • Handling responses.
  • Inbound prospecting.
  • Screening.
  • Setting an appointment.
  • Asking the Conditional Commitment Question.

Date and Time: Wednesday 13 April 2022, from 11:00am to 11:45am, USA Eastern Time. One session, 45 minutes.

Presented as an interactive video conference on Zoom, led by Carl Ingalls. Questions will be answered if we have time. Includes a workbook, plus a video recording of the session.

To sign up and pay for this mini-course, do one of the following


Prospecting Workshop, Instruction and Coaching – 1 Session, 2 Hrs, $145 USD: Fri 15 April

A combination of virtual class instruction and individual coaching. More advanced and more detailed than the Prospecting Basics Mini-Course (see above). For intermediate or advanced students.

Presented as a continuing series of live and interactive video conferences on Zoom, led by Carl Ingalls. Includes a workbook, plus a video recording of the session.

Frequency — Will be repeated approximately once or twice a month or two, depending on demand.

Topics — Will take 6 to 10 sessions to cover all of these in sufficient depth:

  • Creating and delivering High Probability Prospecting Offers.  Includes coaching and advice for individual prospecting offers.
  • Using telephone (live), voicemail, text, email, social media. 
  • Tracking efforts and results. 
  • How to handle responses (yes, no, other). 
  • Appointment setting. 
  • Conditional Commitment. 
  • Inbound Prospecting (when someone reaches out to us).

Date and Time: Friday 15 April 2022, from 11:00am to 1:00pm, USA Eastern Time. One session, about 2 hours long.

Price is $145 USD per participant when purchasing 1 session at a time. See below for prices when purchasing more than 1.

If you are certain that you want to take this workshop on prospecting, you may sign up and pay by doing any of the following:

If you are not sure whether you want to take this workshop or not, please visit the Prospecting Webpage or contact Carl Ingalls.


Let’s Talk About High Probability Selling – a Free Discussion on Zoom, Wed 20 Apr at 2:30pm ET

An open conversation about High Probability Selling, on Zoom. Questions and answers.

All are invited, as long as they have a genuine interest in High Probability Selling.

If you want to join, please contact Carl Ingalls. Phone +1 610-627-9030. Text +1 484-464-2557. Email info@HighProbSell.com. Or use this webform.

What If They Complain About the Price?

Suppose you sold an expensive dining room set for $3000, and suppose the customer calls you later and says that their cousin’s neighbor’s sister got exactly the same set for $700 less.

What do you do?

General Rule: Listen more and talk less. Ask questions that get the other person to talk. Don’t argue. Don’t explain or justify yourself any more than is necessary. Don’t try to change the customer’s mind about anything. Let the customer talk more than you do. 

The best thing for you to start with is to say, “Ok.  What do you want to do?”  Say it in a neutral tone, with a downward intonation at the end, and don’t rush it. Pause a bit after saying ok and before you ask what they want to do. Then listen.

Here is a list of some of the things that a customer might say to your question about what they want to do, and how you can reply.

  • Cust:  “I want you to give me $700 back.”
    You:   “That won’t work for me.  You can return the dining room set and receive a full refund of the purchase price, not including the delivery charges.  Or you can keep the set. What do you want to do?”
  • Cust:  “Why did you charge me $3000?”
    You:  “That’s what I sell it for.”
  • Cust:  “Why did someone else get it for so much less?”
    You:  “I don’t know.  You could ask them.”
  • Cust:  “I think it’s really unfair that I had to pay that much when someone else got it for less.”
    You:   “Ok.  What do you want to do?”
  • Cust:  “I want my money back.”
    You:   “Ok.  You can get a full refund of the purchase price of the dining room set, but not of the delivery charges.  Do you want to go ahead with that?”

The above is one example of how a practitioner of High Probability Selling might handle a situation like this, when following the Mindset of HPS.

Questions, comments, and ideas from readers are very welcome.

Schedule 2022-03: March 2022 Sales Training

See the High Probability Selling Calendar for an updated schedule.


Wed 23 Mar:  Essence of High Probability Selling Workshop

This workshop is a summary of all parts of High Probability Selling — process and mindset, with updates. Suitable as a refresher course, and also suitable for beginners who have read the book at least once. Includes a workbook, plus a video recording of the session sent to all participants.

Date and Time: Wednesday 23 March 2022, from 11:00am to 1:00pm, USA Eastern Time. One session, about 2 hours long.

Presented as an interactive video conference on Zoom, led by Carl Ingalls.

Price is $142 USD per participant. 

Enroll and Purchase: If you want to take this workshop, you can sign up here:
https://high-probability-selling.myshopify.com/cart/39310700675132:1?channel=buy_button

For more info on the Essence of High Probability Selling Workshop, see www.highprobsell.com/workshops/essence/


Wed 25 Mar:  “A Complete High Probability Sale” – Chapter 12 Explained

This workshop is a review and interactive discussion of the last chapter of the book, High Probability Selling by Jacques Werth and Nicholas Ruben.  That chapter shows what “A Complete High Probability Sale” looks like, but does not explain it.  Some people want a step-by-step explanation of what is happening there, with the opportunity to ask questions.  This workshop provides that.  We also discuss some of the details in the process that have been updated since the book was written.

Date and Time: Friday 25 March 2022, from 11:00am to 1:00pm, USA Eastern Time. One session, about 2 hours long.

Presented as an interactive video conference on Zoom, led by Carl Ingalls.

Price is $142 USD per participant. 

Enroll and Purchase: If you want to take this workshop, you can sign up here:
https://high-probability-selling.myshopify.com/cart/23956234499:1?channel=buy_button

For more info on the “A Complete High Probability Sale” Workshop, see www.highprobsell.com/workshops/chapt12/


Thu 31 Mar:  Prospecting

A combination of virtual class instruction and individual coaching on Zoom, led by Carl Ingalls.

High Probability Prospecting — How we find and identify people who want what we are selling, and who are ready and able to buy.  This is a detailed process of how to contact people (reaching out), and how to respond to people who contact us.

Topics — Creating and delivering High Probability Prospecting Offers.  Telephone (live), voicemail, text, email, social media.  Tracking efforts and results.  How to handle responses (yes, no, other).  Appointment setting.  Conditional Commitment.  Inbound Prospecting.

Date and Time — Thursday 31 March 2022, starting at 1pm USA Eastern Time. Duration is 2 to 3 hours, depending on the number of participants and how many questions.

Recorded — a video recording of the session will be sent to participants.

Price is $145 USD per participant.  Discounted pricing is available when purchasing 2 or more sessions at a time.

Approval — is required for this workshop. Please contact Carl Ingalls: phone +1 610-627-9030 or email info@highprobsell.com.

For more info on this Prospecting Workshop, see www.highprobsell.com/workshops/prospecting/

If someone says, “Why are you asking me all of these personal questions?”

How do you respond?

First, this almost never happens.  If you are being authentic and sincere, the person you are interviewing will rarely question your motives.

However, students of High Probability Selling worry about lots of things that almost never happen, and they need to have these “what-if” concerns answered before they can move ahead.

Here are two responses that are highly consistent with the principles and attitudes of High Probability Selling.

“I’m learning a new way of getting to know people.”

“This is how I get to know people.”

Do not say, “I’m just curious” or anything else that trivializes what you are doing.


Asking personal questions is what we do in the Trust and Respect Inquiry, which is one of the more advanced discovery tools of High Probability Selling.

This process is described in the book, High Probability Selling, in the chapter titled “Establishing a Relationship”.  For more on this topic, see earlier blog article, “Establishing a Relationship – Revisited

Comments and questions are welcome

Convince Me

What do you do when a prospect asks you to explain to them why they should buy from you?

If you follow a non-persuasive sales method like High Probability Selling, you would avoid getting drawn into that kind of a conversation.

Jacques Werth taught his students to say, “I’m not here to convince you,” and then get right back to the question of whether the prospect wants what is being offered, or not.  He might also say something like, “That’s not the way I work.

However, if the prospect has already said that they want the sort of thing you are offering, then it might be better to respond with the question, “What matters to you?”  And then, only address the things that matter to the prospect.  Keep it short and simple.  You either provide those things, or you don’t.

And then you ask, “What do you want to do?

No Magic Sales Closing Techniques – Just a Proven Selling System that Produces Dramatic Results

written by Jacques Werth in about 2006, and posted here by Carl Ingalls

High Probability Selling is a structured, linear, step-by-step sales process. At each step along the way, you, the salesperson, and the prospect both have the option of saying “Yes” or “No”. Prospects close themselves each time they agree to move forward in the sales process.

The Story Behind the Process

The High Probability Selling Process is based upon extensive research of the top 312 performers across 23 industries. They were an elite group—part of the top 1% in their respective industries—who typically out-produced the top 20 percent in their industry by a factor of 3 or 4. Over a period of forty years, Jacques Werth went out on sales calls with top performers, observing and recording everything they did.

The discovery? These sales stars had intuitively created a totally new selling system. They didn’t realize it was a different system. Jacques Werth did. He collected the data, analyzed it, and put it together in this simple yet powerful system—High Probability Selling.

Top performers are the best in the business. They know the difference between a true prospect and one who is merely ‘interested’ – and will hardly ever buy. They know that preparing elaborate proposals is usually a waste of time. They know that the only prospects worth their time are High Probability Prospects: Prospects who want, need, can afford your products and services, and are willing to buy—now.

Stop Wasting Time!

The most common mistake made by salespeople is that they waste time trying to manipulate, persuade and convince prospects to buy. A lot of time and energy is devoted to activities that will inevitably lead to nothing.

Learn to Focus Your Sales Efforts on Truly Qualified Prospects.

In High Probability Sales Training, we teach you selling skills that are proven and effective. We train you to close more sales by negotiating a series of mutual agreements – beginning with the setting of the very first appointment. We train you to consummate sales with dignity and professionalism – without stress or pressure.

High Probability Selling trains you to close more sales, enjoy selling more, and to earn more money—without compromising your ethics. Is that what you want? If it is, enroll in a HPS sales training course.


Note from Carl Ingalls, on 8 Feb 2022. I copied the above text from a webpage that Jacques Werth had created in about 2006. It is typical of the persuasive style he used when marketing (but never when selling). I prefer to use non-persuasive language in my own marketing efforts, because that is more consistent with what we do and teach in High Probability Selling, and also because I believe it is best to make marketing and selling more consistent with each other. I’d love to hear your thoughts on this.

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