Dealing with customer who realized that I called again – a question from a student

I recently received the following email from a student of High Probability Selling, who had some questions about prospecting.  I have edited the email slightly.  I replaced the sender’s real name with Tom Prospector, and the real company name with XYZ Company.  I am publishing the edited version here (with permission).  My response appears below the email.


I am an insurance agent from Singapore. I bought the HPS book from amazon and also downloaded the recording on “selling in financial services”. 

Some customer recognised that I called again after 3 weeks. Some reacted neutrally while recognising that I called. Occassionally some confronted me over the phone asking me why I called again while they clearly said no before. I then asked them if they want me to remove them from my list. They said yes and I removed. 

I understand that we want the familiarity but not the sense of creating a nuisance for them. I am a new guy in sales and I was a bit paranoid of getting a complaint, even though I checked through DNC religiously before calling. 

So my question is for HPS, is this part of the game, or am I doing it wrong-not tweaking the script enough?

First script: Hi I am Tom Prospector from XYZ Company. I am selling life insurance that can give you a million dollar coverage, for 20 years, for less than 200 dollar a month. Is that something you want?

Second script: Hi I am Tom Prospector from XYZ Company. I am selling affordable life insurance that can give you half a million coverage in death and total permanent disability. Is that something you want? 

My concern is am I commiting the mistake of having insufficient difference in the two messages. If I am not doing anything wrong, I should just focus on Complying with laws and regulations only and continue with what I am doing, understanding that such confrontation is part of the game?


Yes.  As you had guessed, your prospecting offers are far too similar to each other.  People are very likely to think they are the same, and especially if you call back as soon as 3 weeks.  The first thing to do is to make your prospecting offers sound very different.

A small amount of confrontation is unavoidable.  However, you can reduce it significantly by following our guidelines more closely than you have so far.  Study the HPS Blog post, “Guidelines for Creating a High Probability Prospecting Offer“.  Also, be sure to read the comments.

Here are some examples of what you can do differently:

  • We no longer say “Hi” or “Hello”.  We get better results by getting straight to business without trying to seem friendly.
  • If you are prospecting in English, say “This is [name]” instead of “I am [name]”.  If you are prospecting in Chinese, find the closest equivalent.  The intention is to sound the same, whether you are calling a stranger or a colleague that you have been working with (without relying on caller ID).
  • Use factual words.  Avoid words like “affordable”, anything that is a matter of judgment or opinion.
  • It is better to talk about what you offer in terms of what the customer receives than to talk about something that you do.  We call this The Get.  “I sell life insurance” is slightly better than “I am selling life insurance”, because the focus is a little more on the noun, and a little less on the verb.
  • Avoid using the words “you” or “your” as part of the prospecting offer.  The first time we say “you” is when we ask “Is that something you want.”
  • One way to make your prospecting offers different from each other is to be less complete in each offer.  Leave things out.  Focus on only one feature at a time.  For instance, one offer can focus on the death benefit, while ignoring the disability.  Another offer can focus on the disability aspect, while ignoring the death benefit.
  • Another way to reduce confrontation is to keep your manner neutral and businesslike.  No enthusiasm or high energy.
  • In English, it is normal to speak with a rising intonation at the end of a question.  Some people do that even when making a statement (and we call that uptalk).  In contrast, we are careful to end every statement, as well as every question, with a downward intonation.  We get better results that way.
  • The cost of life insurance depends on a number of factors, including age and health.  Is “less than 200 dollar a month” an accurate statement for every person on your prospecting list?  Find a way to be truthful.

Here’s another tip.  Instead of asking someone if they want you to remove them from your list, ask them if they want to be removed from the list.  It makes a difference.  We don’t ask people what they want us to do.  We focus on the get.

Thank you very much for your question, and for the opportunity to share with a wider audience.


Comments and questions are welcome.

 

Dealing with customer who realized that I called again – a question from a student

Don’t Say It – Be It

Saying you are honest is fast and easy, and you can shout it out to as many people as you want.  Being honest takes a lot longer for people to notice, but is far more believable.  The same is true for just about any other virtue we might want to advertise about ourselves.

Using words to impress can backfire.  It’s a shortcut, too often used by people in place of actually implementing the qualities that they want their words to imply.  And this can create doubt, the sort of doubt Shakespeare was talking about in the line from Hamlet, “The lady doth protest too much, methinks.”

Walking the Talk is not good enough.  Skip the talk.  Just walk.

 

Don’t Say It – Be It

Be Brief and Be Gone

“Be brief and be gone” is a guiding principle when calling prospects.  We say who we are and what we are offering, as concisely as possible.  We know that we are an interruption to their day, so we get out as quickly as we can, unless they tell us they want what we are selling.

And then we call again in a month or so, and do the same with a different offer, and so on.

People buy in their own time, and for their own reasons.  The purpose of each prospecting call we make is to find out if the time is now for that prospect, or not.

Credits.
“Be brief and be gone” — from Paul Bunn
“People buy in their own time and for their own reasons” — from Jacques Werth

 

Be Brief and Be Gone

“Never Be So Sure of What You Want, That You Wouldn’t Take Something Better” – Chris Voss on Negotiating

Chris Voss is a master of negotiating, and especially in hostage situations.  In this You Tube video, he explains many of his basic principles for negotiating successfully.  Paul Bunn and I saw a lot of parallels between the principles Chris Voss follows in a negotiation situation and the principles we follow in a High Probability Selling situation.

The video is titled “CEO Chris Voss: Negotiate Like Your Life Depends On It | iConic Conference 2017 | CNBC” and is a little over 33 minutes long.  The You Tube URL is http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WKrs7HdhUjM

I invite you to watch and listen to him speak, and then post your thoughts and comments on this blog.

 

“Never Be So Sure of What You Want, That You Wouldn’t Take Something Better” – Chris Voss on Negotiating

Resistance to Doing the Trust and Respect Inquiry (TRI)

Resistance is a natural reaction to being pushed.  This is a core concept in High Probability Selling (HPS).

If you feel pushed into buying an idea, it’s just like sales resistance.  The more someone tries to convince you, the more the resistance builds.

That’s the problem with the Trust and Respect Inquiry (TRI).  When people sense that it’s being pushed onto them, they resist it.

So who’s doing the pushing, and why?

The authors of the book High Probability Selling felt very passionately about the TRI.  They really wanted people to benefit from this, and that desire came through in their writing.  Passion about what you are selling can make people feel pressured, and I believe that’s what happened here.

We handle this differently today.  Still passionate, but less pushing, and we offer more choices.  We teach a gradual approach to the TRI, and we don’t make it mandatory.

For more information about the TRI:
You Have to Get Personal
Establishing a Relationship – Revisited


Workshops in Dec 2018:  Chapter 12 Updated on Tue 11 Dec for $95

Resistance to Doing the Trust and Respect Inquiry (TRI)

Establishing a Relationship – Revisited

In High Probability Selling (HPS), a relationship is something that comes from doing business, not the other way around.

We do not attempt to steer the relationship.  But we do want to find out what a future relationship might be like with that person.  For instance, will we be able to trust each other?

When we have better information about a person, we make better decisions about whether or how we will do business with them.

How do you find out these things?  You can’t know any of this for 100% certain, but you definitely can improve your odds significantly, by asking questions and listening to answers in a very open way.

It’s an inquiry process.  It is described and discussed in the book High Probability Selling (Chapter 7 – Establishing a Relationship).  However, a few things have changed since that book was written.

  • We no longer call it Establishing a Relationship, because that may imply that we are manufacturing a relationship.  Internally, we call this process the Trust and Respect Inquiry (TRI).  Also, we teach a lighter version of that for beginners, in workshop courses called Getting Personal or Connecting.
  • At one point, the book states, “The process of Establishing a Relationship creates trust.”  We would not say that today.  Trying to use this process to make someone trust you is very likely to backfire.
  • The book also says that this is the single most important step in High Probability Selling.  I agree that this process is the most valuable thing HPS has to offer, but it is a lot bigger than just selling.  Also, some people have been very successful in doing HPS without it.  Therefore, I see its value not as a step in a sale, but rather as a whole way of interacting with people.

There is a previous blog post on the same topic from July 2010, titled Establishing a Relationship.

Workshops in Dec 2018:  Chapter 12 Updated on Tue 11 Dec for $95

 

Establishing a Relationship – Revisited

Applying High Probability Selling to the Job Search and Interviewing Process – An Email Conversation

The emails below have been shortened, by deleting some text.


From: Mike
Sent: Monday 15 October 2018 16:57
To: info@highprobsell.com
Subject: Applying High Probability Selling to the job search and interviewing process

Hello Carl,

I just finished reading High Probability Selling.

I am hoping to learn more about how High Probability Selling can be applied to the job search and interviewing process.  While reading the book I was continually struck on the applicability in this area – have you and/or your colleagues considered this?  If so, is there any specific information you may have or could offer in this area?

Mike


From: HPS Admin
Sent: Tuesday, October 16, 2018 1:59 PM
To: Mike
Subject: RE: Applying High Probability Selling to the job search and interviewing process

Hello Mike,

Here is an article on the High Probability Selling blog that might answer some of your questions.

https://highprobabilityselling.blog/2009/10/09/finding-the-job-you-want-joshs-story/

Carl Ingalls
High Probability Consulting
Providing training and materials in High Probability Selling
Tel:  +1 610.627.9030  USA Eastern Time
Text:  +1 484.464.2557
Email:  Ingalls@HighProbSell.com
Website:  www.HighProbSell.com
Blog:  HighProbabilitySelling.blog


From:  Mike
Sent: Wednesday 17 October 2018 11:55
To: HPS Admin
Subject: RE: Applying High Probability Selling to the job search and interviewing process

Hi Carl,

When I read ‘Josh’s Story,’ it seemed to me to be more focused on the Prospecting part of the process.  Also in demonstrating competency as related to a sales-oriented position.

While I agree that High Probability Prospecting is valuable (particularly in identifying job opportunities that are unadvertised), my greater interest relates to those opportunities for which a job advertisement/posting already exists.

I would like to discover more about how High Probability Selling can be applied to the overall hiring process, and in particular, selling yourself to a hiring manager (and others involved in the hiring decision).  Are there further more in-depth resources available in this area (i.e. the Selling and Closing part of the process)?

Thanks,
Mike


From:  HPS Admin [mailto:info@highprobsell.com]
Sent: Thursday 18 October 2018 12:25
To: ‘Mike’
Cc: ‘Paul Bunn’
Subject: RE: Applying High Probability Selling to the job search and interviewing process

Hello Mike,

Yes, there are more in-depth resources that cover the Selling and Closing parts of HPS when applying for a job that is posted.

A good place to start is to study the HPS Book and read more of articles on the HPS Blog.  After that, we offer training in the form of group workshops and/or private coaching.

When applying for a job that is posted, the odds are pretty high that they want to hire someone for the job, but not 100% certain.  Therefore, it is worth confirming this with a direct question about want, which should be asked on the phone before meeting with them.

Ask, “Do you want to hire someone for this job?”  If they answer Yes, which is very likely, ask them why.  Then continue with the steps of the HPS process as shown in the book.  Make sure you ask the conditional commitment question (it’s in the book) immediately after you have set the appointment.  Remember their answer.

If they say no or maybe to the question about want, it is probably not worth proceeding with them.

Carl Ingalls
High Probability Consulting
Providing training and materials in High Probability Selling
Tel:  +1 610.627.9030  USA Eastern Time
Text:  +1 484.464.2557
Email:  Ingalls@HighProbSell.com
Website:  www.HighProbSell.com
Blog:  HighProbabilitySelling.blog


A course on how to use High Probability Selling to find a job may be a valuable addition to the training that we offer.  Most of the details can be found in the HPS Book, but they are not presented in that context.  I’d like to hear your thoughts.  Do you want to start a conversation about this here on this blog?

Comments and questions are welcome.

Applying High Probability Selling to the Job Search and Interviewing Process – An Email Conversation