When Someone is Interested in Something You Sell, What Does That Mean?

It depends on how you want to sell.

If you want to sell by talking someone into buying, “interested” is an opportunity to try to do just that.  Interested doesn’t mean that they are likely to buy from you.  It only means you have someone who will probably listen to you while you talk.

If you want to sell by finding someone who is likely to buy, then “interested” is an opportunity to do some finding out.  Find out what is behind that interest.  It may mean that the interested person is close to making a purchase decision and wants some information, or it may only mean that the interested person wants to be educated.

When I first started learning High Probability Selling, I was taught that “interested” was a poison word, something that salespeople should avoid.  It means that a prospect is not ready to buy, and is likely to waste the salesperson’s time.  I understood immediately what my teachers were talking about.  I happen to be a person who is interested in just about everything, even when I have no interest in buying, and I began to feel some pity for the salesperson who encountered someone like me.

There is no need to avoid the word “interested” as long as you are clear about what it means for the way you choose to sell.  Richard Himmer (one of my other teachers in HPS) made a useful distinction between Interested and Interesting.  In High Probability Selling, the salesperson is the one who is interested, and the prospect is the one who is interesting.  It’s usually the other way around for salespeople who want to try to influence the prospect to buy.

I am very interested in any comments you may have.  You are all very interesting people.


Author: Carl Ingalls

Administrator for High Probability Selling Blog

7 thoughts on “When Someone is Interested in Something You Sell, What Does That Mean?”

  1. Says Ingalls, “…or it may only mean that the interested person wants to be educated.”
    That will tie up your time. Leave prospects to their own educational devices so we can focus on those ready, willing & able to buy. I trust the HPS methodology to enable the prospect to buy from me when ready, willing & able.
    Why do prospects buy from me? I’m first or the only one…

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Is it possible that “interested” means that they want to continue the buying process? How do we make the distinction between interested in being educated and interested in continuing the buying process?


    1. We ask and we listen. How we do this matters. For instance, open questions work better than closed ones. Also, asking about things the other person says works better than bringing up our own topics. We avoid making comments or reacting to what they say. With a little practice on this kind of listening, the distinction becomes very clear. The greatest hazard is letting our wishes cloud our perception. ~ Carl Ingalls

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I in response to this blog post, received an email that said “No one has enough prospects to talk with.” The writer felt that we are talking about a salesperson who has unlimited prospects to talk with.

    Fortunately, we do not look for prospects to talk with. In High Prob, we look for prospects who want something we are selling, and who are likely to buy now. We do the least amount of talking necessary to find that out. We state who we are, and what we are selling, and we ask whether that is something they want. Then we listen.


    1. Hello Claire,
      I do not have anything to suggest, unless you want High Probability Selling. That is all we teach, and we do this mostly by telephone and teleconference.
      Carl Ingalls


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