Who Are Your Real Competitors?

Who are the people that are taking sales away from you?  What is it that they are doing better than you are?

by Carl Ingalls and Jacques Werth

Understanding the competition is more than just understanding your employer’s competition.  What about your competition?

Who are these people that are taking sales away from you?  Is it the person who out-persuades you, or is it the person who always manages to get to the best prospects before you do?  Is it the person who is friendlier than you, or is it the person who somehow gets trust and respect?
We don’t teach how to be more persuasive or how to act friendlier.  We teach how to do what the most successful salespeople do.

Why Be Afraid of High Probability Selling?

High Probability Selling is scary.  It’s a radical departure from what most salespeople are doing.  It’s hard to believe that it will actually work.  This article describes the basic fears that can prevent people from trying High Probability Selling.

by Jacques Werth

High Probability Selling is scary.  It’s a radical departure from what most salespeople are doing.  It’s hard to believe that it will actually work.

The Fear of Loss
You may be afraid that you will lose sales if you don’t push for every single one.  If you are not closing enough sales now, you may believe that allowing your prospects to say “no” will make things much worse.  It may be difficult to believe that accepting “no” allows you to move on much more quickly to your next “yes”.
The Fear of Rejection
You may be afraid that the pain of rejection will be much worse when you listen to your prospects say “no” to you again and again.  With High Probability Selling, you will hear “no” a lot more often than you do now.  If you can learn to accept that, then you will also hear “yes” a lot more often than you do now.
The Fear of Inadequacy
You may be afraid of starting over and becoming a beginner again.  You may feel reasonably competent with the way you have been selling.  It is normal to be afraid that you may not be able to master something you don’t thoroughly understand and have never tried before.  If you are able to move ahead in spite of that fear, you could be on your way to becoming a highly competent sales producer.
Fear of Fear
Before my first fight, my boxing coach taught me something about fear.  “You can either walk away now and be terrified for the rest of your life, or you can get into the ring and deal with it.”

When High Probability Selling Doesn’t Work

High Probability Selling (HPS) does not work for everybody or for every situation. This article describes 6 cases where HPS almost never works.

by Carl Ingalls and Jacques Werth
High Probability Selling (HPS) does not work for everybody or for every situation.
  • If your job is to sell the way your boss tells you to, and that way is not High Probability Selling, then using HPS may get you fired.  If you want to go ahead and do it anyway, you might have to pretend that you are doing what your boss tells you to do, and start looking for a new job.  Do not be tempted to use your new success to prove your boss wrong.
  • If you enjoy the feeling that you are very persuasive, then High Probability Selling probably won’t work for you.  Any attempt to persuade when using HPS will backfire, because it will generate even more mistrust than if you simply used a traditional way of selling.  If you feel that your success depends upon your ability to change prospect’s minds, then it may be very difficult for you to give up that feeling.
  • If you think of your prospects as prey to be driven into a sale, then High Probability Selling will not be appealing to you.  HPS does not offer any techniques for tricking people into buying from you.
  • If you believe that finding people who already want what you are selling is merely “order taking” and not real selling, then High Probability Selling is not for you.  Making more money due to the increased volume of sales may not be enough to compensate for the feeling that you aren’t creating the sale.
  • If you find it very difficult to try something that is very different from what other people seem to be doing, then you might not be able to try High Probability Selling.
  • If you are uncomfortable with the idea of calling a list of people, and taking “No” for an answer from most of them, then High Probability Selling may not be for you.  The best way to find “Yes” is to learn to accept “No” and move on.

Prospecting Persistence Pays

by Jacques Werth

My first job after college was selling forklift trucks in an industrial section of New York City.  I was prospecting on foot because telephones were too expensive.

I walked into the main office of a company that made valves.  I told the receptionist I needed to speak with John.
An angry-faced man stuck his head out of one of offices behind her and yelled, “Get rid of that *** salesman!”
She shrugged her shoulders and mouthed “Sorry.”
So I left.
About three weeks later, when I was in that neighborhood, I again went into the same office, saw the same receptionist, and handed her my business card.
“Is John available?” I asked.
“What is this in reference to?” she asked.
“Forklift trucks”, I said.
Before she could do anything, the same guy came out of the same office and hollered, “Tell that *** salesman I’m not interested in whatever he is selling.”
She gave me a meek smile of embarrassment before I left.
A few weeks later and I was right back in the same office.  I said to the receptionist, “Would you tell John that I want to talk to him about forklift trucks.”
She picked up her phone and dialed a two digit number and said, “Jacques Werth is here to talk to you about forklifts.” Then, she hung up and said, “He’s not interested.”
The next time I came into the office, the receptionist told me that her boss was in a particularly foul mood, much worse than usual, and that I should probably just go.
“I heard that!  Who are you talking to?”, came the angry voice from the office behind her.
Before she could answer, John came out of the office, looked at me and said, “It’s you, the forklift guy.  Get your *** in my office!”

Survey Results on What Motivates People to Sell Better

Results from the survey on “Why Would You Want to Sell Better?” The most frequent response was “Be more competent and effective at what you do.” This survey began with a blog post dated 21 August 2009.

Here are the results from the survey on “Why Would You Want to Sell Better?”, which began with a blog post on 21 August 2009.
Percent Reason for Selling Better
52 Be more competent and effective at what you do.
16 Make more money, without having to work harder.
16 Be a Top Producer, with all the recognition, perks, and status.
12 Other (explained below)
4 Spend less time working, for the same amount of money.
0 Feel better about what you do for a living.
Total number of responses = 25 (so far)
Other reasons are summarized as:
  • Make a bigger contribution to charitable causes.
  • Be recognized as the most successful practitioner of HPS.
  • Sell more of something that makes other people’s lives better.
We thank all who have contributed to this survey.  We are still collecting results.  If you want to participate, you may fill out our webform.
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