Using High Probability Selling Principles When Delivering Advice

A student of High Probability Selling (HPS) asked me if we had any materials that explained how we use the principles behind HPS while we are teaching and consulting.  I replied that we do not have any such materials so far, but I plan on writing a blog post on the topic.  Here is that post.

I have been a consultant providing technical advice in the area of embossing for many years, long before I met Jacques Werth and began to learn HPS from him.  When I first started to grasp the mindset of HPS, I took the idea of not trying to convince people, and I started applying that idea to the way that I delivered my consulting advice in my embossing business.  The idea is that trying to persuade someone to buy creates a natural and almost reflexive resistance, known in the sales trade as Sales Resistance.  So maybe there is a similar thing in consulting, something we might call Advice Resistance.

I figured out the things that I had been doing to try to get my consulting clients to take my advice.  I stopped doing those things, and I quickly noticed a difference.  The more objective and neutral I was while delivering my advice, the more often they would actually follow through and do it.

When coaching and training clients about HPS, we do not try to get them to accept and follow what we teach.  We do not provide reasons or logical arguments for why anyone should do High Prob.  It has to be their choice and their decision.  If they have not decided to do this, it’s not the right time to teach them.

This is very similar to how HPS salespeople treat prospects.  The decision to buy or not to buy is completely up to the prospect.

People buy in their own time and for their own reasons.  ~ Jacques Werth


Author: Carl Ingalls

Administrator for High Probability Selling Blog

14 thoughts on “Using High Probability Selling Principles When Delivering Advice”

  1. This is so very true and relaxing ! A favourite question of mine is ” what do you want to do?” Said passively is ideal but if any other word than ‘you’ is emphasised this seems to change the question to become salesy!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I received the following email about this post from a fan of HPS:

    Thanks, Carl. Just reading your thoughts about the concepts grounds me again. I’ve been coaching a friend who is going through [some] issues and I realize I’ve gotten strident about how she should handle certain things. Whoa! Neutral is the way.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Carl, I had to read you answer 3 times before I understood 🙂

    In a training about feedback, I could use: “If I learn you how to give feedback, what will you do?”.

    Can I use the word ‘learn’ instead of ‘show’ in this context?


    1. François,

      I understand why you might have had to read my answer a few times. It was rather self-referential. In this case, it was an example of its own meaning. I often think in that way. It helps me understand the unusual logic behind High Probability Selling.

      In normal American English usage, “learn” is what a student does, and “teach” is what a teacher does. Only a very small number of people would say “learn you” when they mean “teach you”. In my answer to you, I used the word “show” to emphasize the demonstration aspect of teaching.


      Liked by 1 person

  4. Ok. In Dutch, teach=learn. My mistake. So teach or show are both ok? I heard about poison words, that’s why I was wondering.


    1. Yes, teach and show are both ok. However they imply slightly different things. Teach does imply that the student is likely to learn, while show does not imply anything about that.

      Jacques Werth has written about Poison Words in the past. I have slightly different opinions on the topic. Mostly that the words themselves are not poison. It depends on how you use them. I may write a new blog article on that.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I noticed that Jacques mentioned words that are often used to convince and persuade. For instance, I once got the advice to use ‘you, like me, …’ as a hidden command to like me. Which seemed highly unlikely to me to work. So from that perspective I understand his warnings.


  5. I’ve enjoyed reading the latest blog and as always learn something valuable. I try to apply what I learn from these blogs to my everyday interchanges and it helps. I would like to share the blog posts on my social media feeds. I could copy and paste the address but wonder if you would consider putting a fb and Twitter link on each article?


    1. Hello Linda,
      Thank you very much for your suggestion about including Twitter and Facebook links so that people can easily share articles on their social media accounts. I will see what it takes. WordPress probably has a widget for that.
      Carl Ingalls


      1. Hi Carl, I want to share many of your blog’s articles on LinkedIn. Currently, I share them by copying and pasting the site URL. Can you add a LinkedIn button so that readers can share your articles on LinkedIn more easily?


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