To Push or Not to Push

If someone is about to step in front of a speeding car, then pushing them out of the way will probably have a better outcome than asking them if they want to reconsider.

Asking a friend if they want to go for a walk with you will probably be more effective than saying, “You need to lose weight.”

People push each other all the time.  It’s simple and doesn’t take much thought.  Almost instinctive.  Sometimes, it’s the only thing that will work.  Most of the time though, there are alternatives to pushing, and sometimes those alternatives lead to better outcomes.

Pushing an object increases the probability that the object will move in the direction we are pushing it.  We can count on that.  It works on cattle and sheep as well.  However, people are a lot more complicated.  They don’t like being treated as a thing, or herded like sheep.  They often resist being pushed, even by very subtle methods.  The human paradox is that pushing can decrease the probability that a person will do what we are trying to get them to do.  That can be very frustrating.

To push, or not to push.  The only way to know what works better in any given situation, is to have a very clear picture in mind of what a good outcome looks like, and then to think realistically about how our actions will affect the probability of that kind of outcome.  Not just what we think should happen, but what the odds really are when we think about it.

Author: Carl Ingalls

Administrator for High Probability Selling Blog

9 thoughts on “To Push or Not to Push”

  1. I really. Enjoyed the zoom. Workshop we had. I believe Julius did a great job setting it up. I forgot to say ty at the end,,,,so ty very much Julius great job !!!!i would like to be part of many more. Thxs for the invite ory. Thxs all.


  2. Thank you for writing this article, Carl. High Probability Selling is selling without pushing. Pushing someone detracts from their experience with you and usually causes unpleasant feelings. We may ask ourselves, “How would I feel if someone was attempting to push me to do something?”


  3. I appreciate your dry wit. Could you elaborate on what a clear picture of a good outcome might look like? I assume this topic relates to sales situations which have not been consummated and I as an insurance broker am trying to decide how next to reach out to that prospect. Thanks for your continued input. Richard Sazonoff PS I re-read the book over the weekend for the first time in several years…still absorbing it.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hello Richard,

      A good outcome can mean different things to different people in different situations. For some, completing another sale is what counts. For others, having a good customer in the long run is much more important than a single sale.

      For me, finding a student who wants me to teach them how to do HPS is only a beginning. What really matters to me is that the teaching makes a real difference. That is the good outcome in my world.

      We each have to decide for ourselves what a good outcome looks like, and make it as clear as we can.

      Carl Ingalls


  4. Hi Julius,,,you posted something which I thought was Great,,,,but my phone flip and I lost it,,,,Could you finish it Please ?


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