Selling – Why is it So Hard to Learn?

By Jacques Werth

High Probability Selling

The primary reason it is so hard to learn to sell (well) is that almost all modern selling systems do not work very well. Virtually all selling systems are based on the “Needs Selling” paradigm, which was developed over seventy years ago.  Modern versions of Needs Selling such as, “Consultative Selling,” “Solution Selling,” Spin Selling,” and “Value Based Selling,” etc., are all based on the same premise.  

The basic premise of almost all ancient and modern selling systems is that a salesperson is supposed to meet with “interested” prospects, and persuade and convince them to buy.  Those systems worked well until the mid-1980s.  None of the techniques and systems designed for persuading and convincing are still very effective.  

Virtually every other business discipline has gone through a multitude of changes in order to accommodate the myriad technical, psychographic, social and business changes that occurred over the last fifty years.  However, sales is still about persuading and convincing interested prospects to buy.

Therefore, people keep inventing new techniques for persuading and convincing.   Between Tom Hopkins’ first book “Mastering the Art of Selling” in 1981, until Charles Vega’s “1001 Professional Sales Tips” in 2006, many thousands of sales techniques have been developed.

As an example, one trainer teaches “99 ways to close a sale.”  When it was suggested that no one could actually remember 99 different closing techniques, he responded, “It is not that difficult.  There are really only 9 different closing techniques, and 11 variations of them, depending on the situation. So, you only need to remember 20 ways to close.”

With thousands of techniques and systems touting different ways to do the same thing, how can anyone remember and decide what to do and when to do it?  It is a wonder that anyone can learn how to sell.

Even now, you are still expected to convince and persuade prospects to buy something they are merely interested in.  How can you expect to do that, when it is so difficult to convince yourself to do anything differently?

Contrast all of that with High Probability Selling.

The basic premise is to meet with prospects who already want to buy the features of your products and services, and to mutually determine whether you have an acceptable basis for doing business.  No persuading or convincing is required.

In High Probability Prospecting, there are 12 basic responses to telephone prospecting offers.  And, there is one standard reply to each of those responses. You have those 12 replies printed out in front of you when you are prospecting. No memorization is required.   

There are two basic ways to set up appointments with prospects.  There are five basic questions to get commitments to do business.  That too, requires no memorization.

When you visit with committed prospects, eighty percent of the time you are working from a printed questionnaire.  There are four basic closes that are utilized about 35 times, at appropriate points throughout the questionnaire.
No memorization is required, and no pressure or discomfort is generated.  

Even during free-form discussions and inquiries, you are working from a guideline with seven basic rules.  Hardly any memorization required.  

You do not have to constantly apply your brainpower to search your memory for what comes next or for the best reply to a question.  Therefore, you can use it to really listen to your prospects and work with them effectively.

High Probability Selling is a step-by-step sales process.  It is relatively easy to learn.  It can be customized for your products, services and markets.  Like any other tool or process, skill comes with utilization. You still have to do the work if you want to earn what the real professionals earn.  But first you need to decide – do you want to learn this new sales process? 


If you want to learn the process and mindset of top producing salespeople, you want to learn more about High Probability Selling.

Until Next Time…Sell Well

Jacques Werth – High Probability Selling

Copyright 2007.


Tags: How+to+sell, The+secret+to+selling, Selling+and+Persuasion


Author: Carl Ingalls

Administrator for High Probability Selling Blog

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: