Limit the Scope of Prospecting Offers

A High Probability Prospecting offer should be very specific, with a limited scope.  Avoid using a more general offer that tries to encompass most of what you do.

Some examples:

Instead of saying “I sell life insurance”, use at least two separate offers, where each excludes the other:

  • “I sell a whole life insurance policy that …”
  • “I sell a term life insurance policy that …”

Instead of saying “We offer IT support services”, break that down into two or more very specific offers:

  • “We provide a remote help desk service that …”
  • “We offer a network monitoring service that …”

This can be a very scary thing to do.  It doesn’t feel right to purposely exclude such a large portion of the audience in each prospecting offer.

Part of the reason it doesn’t feel right is that most of us are too desperate about each prospecting call, and emotionally attached to a positive outcome.  This makes us behave as if this is our only chance to get the prospect to buy from us.

But High Probability Prospecting is not about “getting” the prospect to buy.  It’s about finding someone who wants what we are selling, and is ready to buy now.

We do that by calling the same prospects over and over, with different prospecting offers.  Over time, they get a very good picture of what we are about.  Doing this in small bites gets better results than trying to get the entire message across at once.

Limit the Scope of Prospecting Offers

4 thoughts on “Limit the Scope of Prospecting Offers

  1. You said,

    “We do that by calling the same prospects over and over, with different prospecting offers. Over time, they get a very good picture of what we are about. Doing this in small bites gets better results than trying to get the entire message across at once.”

    What if we do not have a highly targeted list to call every three to four weeks?

    Is it still effective to call prospects only one time, using the methodology of High Probability Prospecting?

    For example, the other day someone prospected me in person at my home, with an offer for a newspaper subscription. I politely listened and then declined her offer.

    She then tried to overcome my objection by asking why I did not want a daily newspaper. I told her I could read the news for free online. Besides, I no longer watch or read the news. If there is any news related item I need to know, someone will tell me about it.

    She then asked if I knew anyone who might like a newspaper subscription. I told her of the neighbors I knew who already had a subscription, in order to save her some time.

    I was obviously not a highly target name on her list, since she was going door-to-door.

    Again, if we do not have a highly targeted list to call on a regular basis, is it still effective to use High Probability Prospecting?

    “Stop fishing in the Sahara desert.” – Jacques Werth

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    1. Paul,

      If you are only going to call each person once, there is probably no benefit to using High Probability Prospecting, regardless of whether your list is targeted or not.

      Carl Ingalls

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  2. TJ says:

    “If you are only going to call each person once, there is probably no benefit to using High Probability Prospecting, regardless of whether your list is targeted or not. ”

    ^ I didn’t see this anywhere in the book…

    What else is assumed? I think a summary of the conditions and further important caveats should be expounded on somewhere. If it has been. Sorry I have missed it.

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  3. Hello TJ,

    The book, High Probability Selling, is a starting point. What it says is enough for most people to decide whether they want to do this or not. However, there is a lot that it does not say, and all that could fill a book at least ten times its size. If someone did try to write such a book, it would be obsolete before it was finished. The world changes, and so does selling.

    I hope this helps.
    Carl Ingalls

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