This is a recent email conversation between Kirk Mousley of Mousley Consulting, Carl Ingalls of Embossing Technologies, and Jacques Werth of High Probability Selling. The first email is a broadcast email from Kirk to his mailing list. The remaining emails are between Kirk, Carl, and Jacques.
— From Kirk Mousley, 12 Oct 2010, 12:11pm —
Please let me know if you do not wish to receive any emails from me about updates to my company blog, and I will remove you from my emailing list. I certainly hate spam myself, and really do not wish for people to view this as spam, and I will definitely remove you from the list if you desire.
For those of you that are interested, please check out my very short blog entry on “Working Together” at http://mouscon.blogspot.com/
I would love to know your thoughts!
Kirk Mousley, Ph.D.
Mousley Consulting, Inc.
— From Carl Ingalls, 19 Oct 2010, 4:35pm —
The email that you sent out to your mailing list indicates that you have decided to continue to treat the list as an “Opt-Out” list. This means that people somehow get onto your list (whether they chose to or not), and that they have to take action to get off of it.
If you decide that you want to have an “Opt-In” list, you would write to them in a very different way. You would be telling them that, in order to continue to receive blog updates from you by email, they would have to take action to specifically request it.
This is a very tough decision. We are also struggling with it.
We have both kinds of lists. The subscriber list to our blog is strictly Opt-In. The list of people who have purchased something from us is Opt-Out. The first list is extremely valuable. The second is not worth much.
Carl Ingalls 610-627-9030
— From Kirk Mousley, 19 Oct 2010, 4:31pm —
There is no question an opt-in list is much better.
My problem is how do you “prospect” with an opt-in list? In my mind, prospecting means reaching out to people that don’t know you.
Kirk Mousley, Ph.D.
Mousley Consulting, Inc.
— From Carl Ingalls, 19 Oct 2010, 5:17pm —
I think what you are doing is marketing, not prospecting. Marketing is done with messages that are broadcast to a large number of people at once, where the price per contact is small enough to justify the very small success rates. Prospecting is done one-on-one.
Marketing to an opt-in list has a much higher success rate than marketing to an opt-out list. The size of the opt-out list has to be a huge multiple of the size of the opt-in list before it has any hope of being as effective.
Carl Ingalls 610-627-9030
— From Kirk Mousley, 19 Oct 2010, 5:24pm —
How do you market to get people to opt-in?
I had not really thought there was a lot of difference between marketing and prospecting.
My take is that normally you would get a list and start making calls. That is prospecting.
I suppose one-to-one email would be closer to prospecting but still very low success rate.
— From Carl Ingalls, 19 Oct 2010, 11:00pm —
This is an extremely important principle at the core of High Probability Selling. We do not attempt to “get” people to do anything. Instead, we find (or attract) people who want to do it for their own reasons.
There are two very significant problems with the intention to get people to do something.
- The first is that it’s counterproductive. It doesn’t work often enough to compensate for the negative reactions it generates. Your intention and your attempts to carry it out create resistance against you.
- The second is that holding onto this intention will prevent you from being successful with High Probability Selling.
This principle is also very useful when giving advice to a paying client. I have discovered that my clients are far more likely to take my advice if I make no attempt at all to “get” them to take my advice. When my clients actually take my advice, they get a lot more benefit from me than when they don’t, and they hire me back more often. I believe that this is part of the reason my business has improved so much lately.
— From Jacques Werth, 20 Oct 2010, 10:44am —
With some minor changes, this is a very good blog article.
— From Carl Ingalls, 20 Oct 2010, 2:36pm —
Jacques suggested that our email conversation might make an excellent post on our blog. I agree.
Do I have your permission to post an edited version of this conversation thread (starting with your broadcast email dated 12 Oct) on our blog? I will send it to you for your approval first (and also to Jacques).
If you are ok with it, I would like to identify you and your consulting company in the post.
— From Kirk Mousley, 20 Oct 2010, 3:58pm —
I guess it would depend on how bad I look.
Let me know what you come up with, and we can decide.
— From Carl Ingalls, 20 Oct 2010, 4:32pm —
In my opinion, our email conversation presents you in a positive light. I would not want to proceed if it didn’t. Let’s see what Jacques thinks. If he feels the same way I do, then I will put the conversation together and send it to you (and to Jacques) before I do anything else with it.
— From Jacques Werth, 21 Oct 2010, 6:55am —
Kirk and Carl,
It’s admirable that a skilled high-tech consultant wants to learn how to communicate more effectively with his clients and prospects. If we stay focused on that intention, Kirk will come across as who he really is. Mutual respect is already demonstrated in your conversations.
That kind of authenticity is uncommonly interesting to most people.
6 thoughts on “Struggling With High Prob”
I spent 15 years scratching, fighting and digging with the mythological teaching that everyone is a prospect. Not only was I not very successful I was very unhappy.
When I found HPS, it took almost 3 years before I really was able to switch mental gears and use the entire process. Then selling became enjoyable, all the fears of rejection disappeared and sales increased.
Thank you for posting this and giving permission to read such a revealing ‘private’ correspondence. It’s illuminating in more than its obvious subject (that of which it speaks), but also in the participant’s courage, endeavor, and the openness it portrays.
Very interesting and informative read. So much can be gleaned from both parties. Carl, the ever neutral and sage advisor. Kirk, a respected professional who isn’t afraid to learn in public.
When I search for people to coach me, or with whom to associate, I want to know they don’t carry pride as their primary companion.
Kirk, thank you for allowing me to learn from your example and questions.
John, Linda, and Richard,
Thank you all for your great comments. Each of you contributed valuable perspectives to the blog post.
We took some risks in making public a private conversation. I am very glad that you found value in this.
Thanks to all that posted comments. I am glad it has been informative.
It has been hard for me to change my perspective on sales from “making” sales to “finding” people ready to buy. I appreciate both Carl and Jacques patience with me.
“It’s admirable that a skilled high-tech consultant wants to learn how to communicate more effectively with his clients and prospects. If we stay focused on that intention, Kirk will come across as who he really is. Mutual respect is already demonstrated in your conversations.
That kind of authenticity is uncommonly interesting to most people.”
Well said, Jacques.
Kirk, thank you for your courage to permit this conversation to be shared. Yes, it’s not always easy to admit that you don’t know things and that you’re trying to figure something out, but we all are in that same place… often. And the lesson to be learned here is, in fact, more important than how to sell. Because it is a lesson that speaks to and from the heart. Because it is a lesson about being human and about being authentic.