High Probability Prospecting Questions from a Reader

I recently received an email with some questions about High Probability Prospecting.  The email appears below (in blue), with permission from the author, and my answers are included (in black and italics) after each question.


Hi Carl,

Thanks for teaching the methods of High Probability Prospecting and High Probability Selling. I was really excited when I read the blog, because I found an honest, respectful and profitable way of selling. Hence, I bought the book and 2 mp3 (Selling Financial Services and Chp 12 explained)

I have a few questions after listening though.

  1. How many times should we call a prospect before we move on? In Selling Financial Services, Jacques said that he once called a company 27 times before he got their business. Is there an optimum number of times to call, or should we just keep calling them forever? (assuming they do not ask us to stop calling them)
    My answer:  As long as they keep answering the phone and listening to your offers, call them forever, even if they always say no.  If you leave an offer by voicemail, and you do not get a call back, then treat that the same as if they said no.  If they ask you to stop calling, then stop.
  2. If the prospect do not pick up the phone, do we call them again in the same month until they pick up, or do we call them the next month?
    My answer:  If no one answers, not even voicemail, then call again as soon as you finish your list, even if it is the same day.  Try different times of day, and different days of the week.  If you continue to get no answer at all (not even voicemail), then reduce your frequency of calling that number, from a couple of days to a couple of weeks to a couple of months and eventually never.  Remember that it is more profitable to call someone who always says no, than it is to call someone who never hears your offer.
  3. How many numbers should I be calling? Assuming I prospect 3 hours a day, as recommended in the blog. Also, do I change to a fresh list of numbers to call every year, every 2 years etc?
    My answer:  We recommend that you start with a list of 500 numbers, and then add numbers as needed.  Do not remove anyone from your list just because time has gone by.  A “fresh” list is not as valuable as your list of people who continue to listen to your offers, even when they say no every time.

Anyway, I realised I asked a lot of questions which might be in your training course. Hence, if you could just answer the first question, I would be very grateful. Thank you for your help.

Best regards
{name withheld on request}


Workshops in August 2018:
Connecting on Tue 14 Aug, 3 sessions for $255
Chapter 12 Explained & Updated on Thu 16 Aug, 1 session for $95

Comments and questions are welcome.

High Probability Prospecting Questions from a Reader

Responding to a Telemarketer

I tell the telemarketer that I’m not a prospect.  I wish them good luck on their next call.  I say goodbye.  And then I hang up.

Why?

  • Saying I’m not a prospect is better than saying no, and especially when they haven’t asked whether I want what they are selling or not.
  • I used to say something negative, but that just left me with a negative feeling about the encounter.  Saying something positive (and something that is also sincere) has a better effect on me.  I can get back to being me more quickly.
  • Referring to their next call is my way of planting a seed, an idea that their time and efforts might be more profitable if they put less focus on this one interaction, and more focus on the whole endeavor.  That is one of the basic concepts in High Probability Selling.
  • I say goodbye when I am done with a conversation.  I say it in a neutral tone, the same way I would if I were the person placing the call.
  • I hang up.  It’s kinder than hanging on while they continue to talk.

There are some exceptions.  If I can’t interrupt the caller, I’m not interested at all, and just hang up.  If it is a human caller, and I have time to be interested in the person, then I might have a conversation.  If the person is interesting to me, I might ask, “How long have you been doing this?”

I’d like to hear from you, my readers.  How do you respond to a telemarketer, and how does that make you feel?


Workshops in May 2018:
Chapter 12 Updated on Thu 17 May for $95

Responding to a Telemarketer

Implementing High Probability Selling – Where to Start?

The beginning?  The end?  Bits and pieces?  All at once?  Just the parts that are comfortable or make the most sense?  Nowhere?

It takes a lot of time and effort and practice to learn how to do High Probability Selling (HPS).  There are lots of ideas to unlearn, and lots of habits to drop.

Implementing all of HPS all at once has worked very well in the past, but most of our clients prefer to learn and apply it in steps, slowly and gradually over time.

The problem with gradually adopting HPS is that the transition period can be a negative experience for prospects and customers.  Being subjected to pieces from sales methods that have conflicting purposes can make them wary.  Some sales methods just don’t mix well.

It matters where you start.  It matters because of what the prospect sees.

If you start at the beginning, and use High Probability Prospecting (with no attempt to influence, persuade, or entice), the prospect will initially have one idea of what kind of person you are and how you do business.  If you then switch to using more traditional sales methods on the same prospect, they may decide that you can’t be trusted.

We don’t know if this is the real reason or not, but we do know that people have had extremely poor results when High Probability Prospecting was followed by traditional selling methods.  If you’re going to use any parts of a sales process that is designed to get someone to buy, you’ll get better results by starting out with that process from the beginning of your interaction with a prospect.  And once you switch to using HPS with the same prospect, stay with HPS all the way through the end.

For gradual implementation, we now believe that the best place to start using HPS is at the end of the sales process.  And then add the step that comes before the end, and so on, all the way back to the beginning.

The sequence of steps in the High Probability Selling Process is shown in an earlier post on this blog, Sequence of Steps in High Probability Selling

Note:  In this article, “We” means Paul Bunn and Carl Ingalls.


Workshops in March 2018:
Chapter 12 Updated on Thu 15 Mar for $95
Mindset Discovery on Wed 21 Mar for $255

Implementing High Probability Selling – Where to Start?

Upcoming Workshops in March 2018

There are 2 workshops on High Probability Selling that are scheduled for March 2018.

Chapter 12 Updated.  1 Session, $95.  Thu 15 March 2018 at 3pm.

This is an update and review of the steps in the High Probability Selling process, focusing on what has changed since the book was written, and with answers to participant’s questions.  It is recommended for people who have read the book at least once, and who want to know more about the process before deciding to go further.

The price is $95 per person.  This covers 1 session, 1 or 2 hours long, plus a recording of the session.  Conducted by telephone (teleconference, real-time interactive), with questions and answers.  Led by Carl Ingalls.

For more details, questions, or to purchase, please see www.HighProbSell.com/workshops/chapt12/

 

High Probability Mindset Discovery Workshop.  3 Sessions, $255.  Starts Wed 21 March 2018 at 7pm.  Continues the next two weeks, Wednesdays, same time.

The mindset of High Probability Selling includes things like attitudes, feelings, beliefs, habits, concepts, principles, guidelines, and language.  Recommended for people who are just beginning with HPS and also for those who have had some training.

The price is $255 per person.  This covers 3 session, 2 hours each, plus recordings of the sessions, and exercises to do between sessions.  Conducted by telephone (teleconference, real-time interactive), with questions and answers.  Led by Paul Bunn and Carl Ingalls.

For more information, questions, or if you want to apply for this workshop, please visit our webpage at www.HighProbSell.com/workshops/mindset/

All prices are USD.  All times are USA Eastern Time (same as New York City).

 

Upcoming Workshops in March 2018

Finding Companies That Embrace This Philosophy

Someone anonymously posted this message yesterday via the webform on the Contact Us webpage for High Probability Selling.

Finding Companies that embrace this philosophy
Hello.  I ran across your site today after getting pitched yet another sales training program.   I have been in sales and business development for close to 30 years.   May companies are so stooped into the old school ways of selling it is ridiculous.   I embrace this philosophy but how do I connect with companies that want people trained using this thought process?  Do you have roles available within your consulting practice?

I’ve decided to provide an answer here on this blog.

The short answer is – ask them.  Use High Probability Prospecting to find a job, and use High Probability Disqualifying to filter out the ones that aren’t going to work for you.

The best detailed instructions I have seen for doing this are in a blog post written by Jacques Werth in 2009:  Finding the Sales Position You Want.

However, there are two changes we would recommend today.  The first is to make your prospecting offer much shorter, 30 words or less, even if you have to include only one feature instead of two (see Guidelines for Creating a High Probability Prospecting Offer).  The second change is that we now recommend leaving voice mail messages (see this article).

Before accepting a sales position, find out if you will be allowed to sell the way you choose to sell, or not.  Ask about that directly.  If part of your compensation is a salary, that may mean that they are paying you to sell the way they tell you to sell.

Another article that might help is:  Finding the Job You Want – Josh’s Story

Happy Prospecting.


Workshops in Feb 2018:
Chapter 12 Updated on Thu 15 Feb for $95

Finding Companies That Embrace This Philosophy

Finding Someone Who Will Refer You To Their Clients

I received the following a few days ago:

Study book continuously. I need help with last question. I am calling sports agents and I would like them to refer me to their athlete clients. I sell high risk disability income insurance. Should I say: \”Is this something your clients might want?\” Or \”Is this something you want me to tell your clients about?\”  ~ Herb Williams

Finding an agent who wants to subject his or her own clients to a call from an insurance salesperson is going to be difficult.  It will take multiple calls to the same agent before they will consider trusting you with any of their clients.  They have to see how you sell.

Multiple calls means multiple offers, and it works better when the offers are different.  The problem with your offer is that “high risk disability income insurance” covers just about everything that you have to offer to an athlete.  It’s too broad for this kind of prospecting.  When a sports agent says no to that, you don’t have anything else to offer the next time you call them.

One way to narrow yourself is to mention only one kind of disabling event and only one sport at a time.  For instance, you could say you sell disability insurance that covers motocross accidents.  The next time, it could be golf or weight lifting, or something else.

As for the final question, you could ask the agent something like this:  “Do you want any of your clients to hear about this.”  Do not include yourself in that question.

Most of the time, the answer will be no.  You say, “Ok.  (pause).  Goodbye.”  Say nothing more.  Wait a few seconds and then hang up.  (See more about saying ok goodbye in this article)

If someone says yes, always remember to ask why.

Tip.  Don’t tell them what you want them to do, and don’t ask them what they want you to do.  Ask instead, “What do you want to do.”

Additional reading:  Guidelines for Creating a High Probability Prospecting Offer.  Please note that there is more learning to be found in the comments and replies to that article.


Workshops in Jan 2018:
High Probability Mindset Discovery on Tue 16 Jan for $255
Chapter 12 Updated on Thu 18 for $95

Finding Someone Who Will Refer You To Their Clients

Upcoming Workshops in January 2018

There are 2 workshops on High Probability Selling that are scheduled for January 2018.

Chapter 12 Updated.  1 Session, $95.  Thu 18 January 2018 at 1pm.

This is an update and review of the steps in the High Probability Selling process, focusing on what has changed since the book was written, and with answers to participant’s questions.  It is recommended for people who have read the book at least once, and who want to know more about the process before deciding to go further.

The price is $95 per person.  This covers 1 session, 1 or 2 hours long, plus a recording of the session.  Conducted by telephone (teleconference, real-time interactive), with questions and answers.  Led by Carl Ingalls.

For more details, questions, or to purchase, please see www.HighProbSell.com/workshops/chapt12/

 

High Probability Mindset Discovery Workshop.  3 Sessions, $255.  Starts Tue 16 January 2018 at 10am.  Continues 23 and 30 Jan, same time.

The mindset of High Probability Selling includes things like attitudes, feelings, beliefs, habits, concepts, principles, guidelines, and language.  Recommended for people who are just beginning with HPS and also for those who have had some training.

The price is $255 per person.  This covers 3 session, 2 hours each, plus recordings of the sessions, and exercises to do between sessions.  Conducted by telephone (teleconference, real-time interactive), with questions and answers.  Led by Paul Bunn and Carl Ingalls.

For more information, questions, or if you want to apply for this workshop, please visit our webpage at www.HighProbSell.com/workshops/mindset/

All prices are USD.  All times are USA Eastern Time (same as New York City).

 

Upcoming Workshops in January 2018