Are You Missing Your Best Niche Market?

By Jacques Werth
High Probability Selling

Every salesperson has a great niche market that 99 percent aren’t even aware of.  The concept of a niche market is not new.  The meaning of the term is as varied as the number of sales, marketing and business people trying to identify, define or pursue a niche.  If you find the right niche, your sales volume will skyrocket.

A typical niche may be a group of millionaires that own helicopters, or an affinity group of retired doctors and lawyers, or large-scale forested landowners.  The list is only limited by our imaginations and exposure to the worlds within the world around us.

There is one niche market, however, that exists for virtually every salesperson or businessperson out there.  And it is not defined by commonly used demographic factors.  It is a segment of nearly every market that goes virtually unnoticed, except by the best salespeople.

That niche is made up of prospects that, thanks to the information age, already want the benefits of your type of product or service.  If asked in an appropriate way, they would actually confirm that they want what you’re selling, and that they will do business with you if you can meet their requirements to do so.

These are their “psychographics”:

  1. They’ve figured out why they want the benefits of your product or service.
  2. They don’t need to be sold to.
  3. They don’t respond favorably to persuasion, however subtle.
  4. They don’t want (or need) to be educated about your offering.
  5. They are not merely interested in what you’re offering.  They are ready to make commitments to do business.
  6. One of the things that determines who they buy from is whether they trust and respect the salesperson they’re buying from.  Whether they “like you” is unimportant.

They are out there. Right now.  In your market.  In your industry.  Hoping to encounter a salesperson that they can trust and respect, and do business with in a direct, open and transparent way.  You need a prospecting system that is designed to communicate in a way that allows them to identify themselves. 

Now you have options that are not just variations on the theme of selling as most people know it.

You can sell in a way that requires attempting to make people, most of whom aren’t buyers, into customers…or…sell in a way that requires finding the people that are buyers and making the determination of whether or not it is mutually beneficial to do business.

What do you want to do?

 

 


If you want to learn the process and mindset of top producing salespeople, you want to learn more about High Probability Selling.

Until Next Time…Sell Well

Jacques Werth – High Probability Selling

Copyright 2007.

 

Tags: How+to+sell, The+secret+to+selling, Selling+and+Persuasion

 

 

How Top Producers Eliminate Objections

By Jacques Werth
High Probability Selling

Many salespeople try to rationalize that objections are good because they indicate the prospect’s level of interest and pinpoint the keys to making the sale. That is analogous to saying that you should not prevent the cause of pain in your body; pain is good because you then know what ailment to cure.

Take notice of the kinds of objections that salespeople are plagued with and how some otherwise smart salespeople try to overcome them. Some objections are caused by flawed prospecting methods. Other objections are caused by flawed sales methods. Instead of learning a new sales process, or a new way of thinking about sales, most salespeople try to use clever rhetorical manipulations to overcome each objection. Those manipulations raise the prospect’s sales resistance, which then creates an adversarial relationship.

The way top producers prevent objections is to tell all of the detriments of each feature – along with the benefits – before the negatives occur to the prospect. Most prospects are just as smart as salespeople. Therefore, avoiding or obscuring the negatives is not a viable sales strategy. Even if everything that you tell them is true, that is not good enough. Withholding negatives is perceived to be half-truths by most salespeople. However, most prospects perceive half-truths to be lies. "Total Disclosure" eliminates objections and creates relationships of trust and respect with clients and prospects.

The High Probability Selling process eliminates almost all objections with the technology of Total Disclosure.


If you want to learn the process and mindset of top producing salespeople, you want to learn more about High Probability Selling.

Until Next Time…Sell Well

Jacques Werth – High Probability Selling

Copyright 2007.

 

Tags: How+to+sell, The+secret+to+selling, Selling+and+Persuasion

The Right Relationships with the Right Prospects at the Right Time

by Jacques Werth

Most salespeople practice “Consultative Selling.” Using this popular sales method, they believe that their job is to meet with prospects who have an apparent need for their products and/or services. They spend most of their selling time with prospects who don’t know what their needs are or what “pains” their needs are causing them. That is why they advocate elaborate, quasi-soft-sell techniques to get prospects to open up. They are in fact, attempting to sell these prospects at a time in their buying cycle when marketing activities are more effective.

The High Probability Selling process is based on our observations of top producing salespeople, and one of the things that we learned is that they focus their selling time with prospects that are ready to buy now. Top producers are not willing to meet with prospects when they are only interested in a product or service. Top producers only set appointments with prospects that:

  • Already want the benefits of their products and/or services.
  • Are ready to spend the time and money to acquire them.

We refer to them as “High Probability Prospects”

Finding that kind of prospect is easy, almost as easy as it is for consultative salespeople to find prospects that may need what they have to offer and are “really interested” in learning about their products and/or services.

Top producers do not give the prospect an appointment unless they agree to the following “Rules of Engagement.”

  • The purpose of the meeting is to determine whether they have a mutually beneficial basis for doing business
  • The meeting is scheduled for a specific amount of uninterrupted time, i.e., 40 minutes, 90 minutes, or whatever time is necessary for the sales process.
  • That they will make a mutual conditional commitment on the decision (yes or no) to go forward with the purchasing process at the first meeting.

Starting the sales process at that point changes the dynamics of the typical appointment, and the relationship development process. By only working with prospects who need, want and can afford to buy – and are ready and willing to buy now – the salesperson can begin the meeting with the relationship development process with complete cooperation. The entire process is one of trust and respect for both the prospect and the salesperson.

Given the difference in the starting points and the conditions under which they meet the prospect, salespeople who utilize the High Probability Selling process have an unfair advantage over those who practice consultative selling.

It’s easy to recognize consultative salespeople. They are the ones who try to convince themselves, and then their prospect, that the only reason they want an appointment is for the opportunity to help the prospect.

Do you want to meet with interested prospects, or do you want to meet with prospects who want to buy your type of products and/or services? Do you want all the frustrations of overcoming sales resistance, or do you want to sell without pain. If you are in sales, you are making one of those choices every day.

 


If you want to learn the process and mindset of top producing salespeople, you want to learn more about High Probability Selling.

Until Next Time…Sell Well

Jacques Werth – High Probability Selling

Copyright 2007.

 

Tags: How+to+sell, The+secret+to+selling, Selling+and+Persuasion

 

Are You Prepared to Win on the Phone?

By Paul Bunn

High Probability Selling

“The will to win is important, but the will to prepare is vital.

Joe Paterno

A great number of salespeople pride themselves on being able to think on their feet and come up with the perfect response for whatever a prospect says.  Upon closer examination of the consistent top performers in sales, there’s more to it than just picking up the phone and having conversations, hoping they’ll lead to business or making a sale.  It takes preparation.

If you want to improve the results of your next prospecting session, and turn that into an effective prospecting process, the following are four things to have ready before you make your first call of the day:

  1. A clearly written offer – whether you call it an offer (our preferred term) or script, or pitch, having what you are going to say written out ahead of time makes it easier to listen to your prospects.  This also makes it easier to find what’s working or change what isn’t.  This takes preparation.   It may feel more comfortable to wing it, or “go with the flow”, but improvement nearly impossible.   
  1. A statistics form or some type of consistent written record of prospecting activity.  You can only improve upon things that are measured.  Peace of mind comes from knowing, not just having a feeling of, what works, when it works, and what the results are likely to be from a given activity.  Excellence in prospecting is about the process, and you are not only as good as your last call.
  1. An easy-to-read display of the your best responses to your market’s most common answers or questions that you hear when prospecting.  This helps you maintain control of the conversation and virtually eliminates the need to keep thinking of what you’re going to say next.  Result: You can listen much better and the prospects sense that you are paying attention to them…because you are.
  1. Have a recording device.  This is to record your side of the call only.

Recording yourself speaking will accomplish two things:  1) Make it very easy to adjust your tone and clarity on future calls (hint – you don’t want to sound like a salesperson) and 2) catch those moments when you make an unintended change that can improve your offer…and you find yourself saying, “that was different…if only I had written that down”.

Whether you’re working off a list of current customers, seminar attendees, information requests, or a new list of names or contacts from a list broker, these are the basics of structure needed to prepare so you can prospect efficiently. 

Coming next – Now that you have some structure in place, you have to be willing to use those things in a way that has a high probability of success. 

 


Note added later:  take a look at this example of a prospecting-activity-record-2009-06-22

 

If you want to learn the process and mindset of top producing salespeople, you want to learn more about High Probability Selling.

Until Next Time…Sell Well

Jacques Werth – High Probability Selling

Copyright 2007.

 

Tags: How+to+sell, The+secret+to+selling, Selling+and+Persuasion

 

Objection-Free Selling?

By Paul  Bunn

High Probability Selling

 

“Whenever you find yourself on the side of the majority, it is time to reform (or pause and reflect).”

   Mark Twain

 I’ve done a bit of internet searching about objections.  In the majority of sales training websites, “overcoming objections” is listed as a critical part of any sales process.  There are a multitude of techniques and tactics offered, including memorizing the 150-plus common objections and using 135 or so phrases to overcome them. 

When you are trying to get people to do something they don’t want to do (such as getting them to give you an appointment, or persuading them to buy something they don’t want to buy yet) you generate sales resistance in the form of objections.  Sales resistance is the most prevalent root cause of the objections that salespeople have to continue to try to overcome. 

What if there was another way to achieve a closed sale without having to overcome objections?  What if there was a way to prevent the sales resistance that causes nearly all the objections heard by salespeople? 

Our research, compiled over 40 years of observing top salespeople in the field, has shown that they eliminate the cause of most objections… by changing the approach to selling.  Several key observations came from this research, two of which are:

Top producers approach prospecting in a very different way.  Instead of attempting to convince a prospect to make an appointment, the goal of their prospecting is to find the prospects that don’t require convincing and persuasion to make a purchase.  Contrary to popular belief, these prospects exist in every market we’ve encountered. 

Then, these top salespeople approach selling in a very different way.  On the rare occasions that an objection comes up, they acknowledge and discuss it with the prospect in a manner that we describe as “full disclosure.”  They discuss the detriments of their offering as well as the features and benefits, which prevent an objection from becoming a deal-killer.

The result:  Objection-free selling.
 

 

If you want to learn the process and mindset of top producing salespeople, you want to learn more about High Probability Selling.

Until Next Time…Sell Well

Jacques Werth – High Probability Selling

Copyright 2007.

 

Tags: How+to+sell, The+secret+to+selling, Selling+and+Persuasion

Do You Believe Your Prospects?

By Paul Bunn

High Probability Selling

 

Numerous sales trainers and coaches will tell us that to be successful in selling, we must believe in ourselves, and also believe in our product and/or services.  Self-belief and self-confidence equal more sales.  There’s just one key belief missing.   

We have been in search of a CRM customer database system and have visited several websites and other information sources looking for a suitable system.  We made some calls and received calls from a few vendors offering their solutions.  Nearly all of them went like this:

Salesperson launched into his or her pitch, trying to get me to attend a demo, busily trying to tell me what’s so great about their offering.  I clearly stated that I had no interest in a demo.  I just wanted to match up our requirements to their features as quickly as possible, then watch a demo that shows those features, and buy the system that was the best fit.  A one-size-fits-all demo of undetermined length would be a complete waste of time, for both of us.

Every vendor call went generally the same way.  I asked for a short set of bullet points on the features of their system…I received a dozen-plus slide PowerPoint “brochure” and an invitation to another demo.  Every successive call was an exercise in the salesperson trying to get me to fit into his sales cycle, and to get me excited about the product.  

After all, I’m making a long-term purchase requiring a significant commitment of time and resources.  Enthusiasm is a nice feeling, but it won’t last as long as a database system that takes a month to get fully implemented, only to find out that it doesn’t deliver what we need and want.  Enthusiasm doesn’t last.  Reality lasts.  And reality is what is purchased, especially the ones that require long term investments of time and money.

This opportunity wasn’t lost by those salespeople…it was ignored and abandoned.  How many of those do you run across, and seldom even notice their presence?

The solution of course is to listen to our prospects; and then believe what they say.  Even if what they tell us it isn’t what we want to hear right now; even if they don’t mirror our excitement and enthusiasm and conviction.  Keep your ears open for the prospects that are looking for someone to work with, who know generally what they want to accomplish.  Make it easy for them to do business with you.  You’ll differentiate yourself from all the rest. And, if you’re going to abandon something, make it your agenda and not a willing prospect.

Take the easier and more profitable path.  Sell to the ones that are ready to buy.  Save the rest for next time.  How do you do that?  It’s as simple as “Believe in your prospects.”


If you want to learn the process and mindset of top producing salespeople, you want to learn more about High Probability Selling.

Until Next Time…Sell Well

Jacques Werth – High Probability Selling

Copyright 2007.

 

Tags: How+to+sell, The+secret+to+selling, Selling+and+Persuasion

Are You Stuck with Slow Sales Growth?

By Jacques Werth
High Probability Selling

If your sales productivity is not continuously improving, then you are probably stuck.  It is likely because you are using one or more of the following sales methods and tactics:

  • Cold Calling          
  • Solution Selling
  • Needs Selling
  • Selling Benefits      
  • Consultative Selling
  • Rapport Building
  • Identifying Needs   
  • Finding Pain                   
  • Presenting            
  • Persuading            
  • Convincing                     
  • Closing Techniques
  • Overcoming Objections

Why would any of those methods and tactics get you stuck?  Because they are all parts of the traditional selling system that was developed over 70 years ago.  It all worked pretty well until around the mid-1980s.  Since then these have all gradually become obsolete. 

The world has changed immensely in the last 20 years:  culturally, economically, technically, educationally, and so on.  It all started with the advent of the personal computer and then the Internet.  Every other business activity (such as marketing, finance, engineering, accounting, etc.) has changed dramatically to adjust to those changes.  Yet, selling has changed very little in the last 70 years.  

If you want to get unstuck, if you are ready for dramatic sales growth, find out about the new sales process that really works now. Learn about the new sales process, developed by top performing salespeople, to take advantage of the modern business environment. 

If you want to learn the process and mindset of top producing salespeople, you want to learn more about High Probability Selling.

Until Next Time…Sell Well

Jacques Werth – High Probability Selling

Copyright 2007.

 

Tags: How+to+sell, The+secret+to+selling, Selling+and+Persuasion

Questions: Open-Ended or Close-Ended?

By Jacques Werth, President

High Probability® Selling

Almost all salespeople know the “right answer” to that one.  Or do they?

If you are practicing “Needs Selling,” or any of its modern derivatives, such as Consultative Selling or Solution Selling, you’re asking open-ended questions. You want to try to get your prospects talking about their needs, their problems, and their pain.

You want to steer the conversation around to getting them “interested” in working with you, so that you can help alleviate their pain by helping solve their problems. Open-ended questions are designed to do that.

That sounds exactly right, doesn’t it? It’s just the way you want to sell. If that’s the right way to sell, and it really works, and it’s not so hard to do, so why aren’t you rich?

Why is it that most salespeople, almost all of them asking open-ended questions, either fail or fail to achieve real success?  Why do they struggle to meet quota?  Why are so many salespeople unhappy with their work?  Could it be that selling systems that rely on open-ended questions don’t work very well anymore?

Now, I’m not saying that you should never ask open-ended questions. In High Probability Selling, there are specific times and specific circumstances when open-ended questions are entirely appropriate – but not many. Finding out what they want, what they are willing to commit to buy requires closed-ended questioning. Once a prospect has indicated that they want the benefits of your product or service, some open-ended questions are warranted.

You see, effective selling is all about commitments – mutual commitments.  And the most effective way to arrive at commitments is with closed-ended questions. The big problem is that most salespeople don’t understand the theory and mechanics of commitments. In reality, commitments are what close sales. 

Closing is most effective when it opens the sale and drives the entire sales process. The High Probability Selling process typically involves at least 25 closing commitments, all arrived at with closed-ended questions.

That is how almost all of the top one-percent of salespeople actually sell. That’s what makes the High Probability Selling different from the sales methods that you already know, and (maybe) still believe in. Can you afford to go on using ineffective sales methods to support your family and power your ambitions? Note the closed-ended question, then read it again – and give yourself an honest answer.


 

 

If you want to learn the process and mindset of top producing salespeople, you want to learn more about High Probability Selling.

Until Next Time…Sell Well

Jacques Werth – High Probability Selling

Copyright 2007.

 

Tags: How+to+sell, The+secret+to+selling, Selling+and+Persuasion

 

Selling Beyond Fear

By Jacques Werth, President
High Probability® Selling

In the 17 years we’ve been training salespeople in High Probability Selling, we’ve known that what we teach scares people. What we haven’t known is *why* our methods scare some salespeople into clinging to their old – but ineffective – sales approaches. Why can’t many salespeople change the way they sell?

After years of research, we’ve finally determined why so many salespeople can’t change the way they sell: They’re afraid of doing what really works!

Through extensive research under the guidance of psychologist Dr. Wayne Diamond, we’ve concluded that salespeople’s own fears are the biggest impediment to their success. Fear is the real ‘enemy’.  Here is a 3-Step Strategy for overcoming your fears, discomfort, uneasiness, anxiety…

1.  Determine if the fear is based on reality or fantasy.

The first thing you need to do is determine whether the fears you have are based in Reality or Fantasy. You can’t beat what isn’t real. You can’t overcome what is real if you won’t admit it exists. If a fear is based in reality, facing it helps to overcome the fear. If a fear is based in fantasy, acknowledging the fantasy helps to overcome it.

What you resist persists. If you resist facing your fears, they will persist.

2.  Assumptions are “Sales Killers”

Assuming that you know how people will react often produces negative results. It doesn’t matter if your assumptions are generally negative or positive. Both are condescending and/or insulting. Both are based on some or all of the fears listed above.

Assumptions are usually based on what you believe to be true, or what you wish was true. Our false assumptions may be due to past unsuccessful sales experiences, or they may be relics of personal experiences, recent or long ‘buried’.   You can use step 1 also.

3. Acknowledge your fears and address / resolve the root causes.

Typical Sales Fears

Reality / Root Cause

 

 

The Fear of Rejection

The way you sell causes rejection

The Fear of Loss

You can’t lose what you don’t have yet

The Fear of Scarcity

Learn how to find an abundance of prospects

The Fear of Being Intrusive

People who mind intrusion don’t take calls

The Fear of Being Offensive

The timid way you sell offends prospects more

The Fear of Not Being Believed

Practice full disclosure and be believed

The Fear of Being Disrespected

Directness and authenticity get respect

The Fear of Failure and/or the Fear of Success

Needs professional guidance

 

 Typically, salespeople mask these fears with macho attitudes. They think of themselves as heroic figures, persevering against all obstacles, fighting the good fight day after day. But, think this through first: Who are they really fighting?

This is where true courage enters the picture: We have to recognize and confront our fears before we can overcome them.

 


 

If you want to learn the process and mindset of top producing salespeople, you want to learn more about High Probability Selling.

Until Next Time…Sell Well

Jacques Werth – High Probability Selling

Copyright 2007.

 

Tags: How+to+sell, The+secret+to+selling, Selling+and+Persuasion

Eliminate the Fear of Cold Calling and Rejection

By Jacques Werth, President

High Probability® Selling

I’ve never met a salesperson who has not experienced a fear of the phone at one time or another. Almost all of them have their reasons for being reluctant to make calls, and most of them have no idea what really causes it.  There are two basic reasons for the fear of cold calling. Both are easy to remedy if you know how.

1.  1.  The Experience of Repeated Failure

Most salespeople set out to contact a large number of people who have an apparent need for their products and service.  Their objective is to convince every one of them to grant an appointment.

Let’s assume that you contact 50 people a day and average 2 appointments. In your business, that may be a very good result.  Nevertheless, you will have the experience of repeated failure because you tried to convince all of them to set an appointment and failed to meet your objective of 48 out of 50 calls.

The remedy is to change your objective.  This new objective is to make appointments only with High Probability Prospects – and to disqualify everyone else. Make those 50 calls and be clear that you’ll only make an appointment if the prospect wants what you’re selling. If the prospect doesn’t want what you’re selling, terminate the call quickly and courteously.  You now have the experience of succeeding in your objective 50 times out of 50 calls.  And you will be conditioning them to take your next call…you’ll be there when they’re ready and 99percent of the time, they’ll take your calls.

Meeting only with the prospects that have an intention of buying certainly helps as well.

2.  2.  Fear of Rejection

Most salespeople have a prospecting "pitch" which is designed to interest, entice, excite, convince and persuade people to give them appointments.  They have a string of questions to get the prospect involved and interested in meeting them.  However, every question they ask increases the prospect’s sales resistance.  Negative reactions to their methods grow very quickly.

Most prospects react to any prospecting pitch defensively.  Their resistance is aroused as soon as they hear your warm greeting and your friendly, enthusiastic, professional pitch. The more skillful you are in keeping them talking and listening, the more they become wary and annoyed. Eventually, many of them become non-communicative, or too busy to talk, abrupt, sarcastic, or otherwise negative.  All of these reactions cause most salespeople to feel rejected.

Almost all sales managers and trainers will say that you’re not being rejected, that the prospects are merely declining the offer of your products or services.  Why then do almost all salespeople feel rejected?  Are you too sensitive, too thin-skinned?

Think about it.  Who do you trust?  Is it the sales manager who wants you to keep on going until you become insensitive to the rejection?  Or do you trust your own perceptions, your feelings of rejection?  Are all other salespeople who feel the rejection also wrong?

No, you feel rejected, personally rejected, because you are being personally rejected. That rejection is caused by the normal defensive reactions that everyone has against being persuaded to do something they don’t already want to do.  If you want to eliminate rejection you must change the way you prospect. It’s all about intention.

The Remedy – See Item 1 above.

THE RESULTS – No more fear of cold calling and no more wasted time with low probability prospects.  You meet with prospects who are ready to buy.


If you want to learn the process and mindset of top producing salespeople, you want to learn more about High Probability Selling.

Until Next Time…Sell Well

Jacques Werth – High Probability Selling

Copyright 2007.

 

Tags: How+to+sell, The+secret+to+selling, Selling+and+Persuasion

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