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

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

Upcoming Workshops in January 2017

Upcoming Workshops:

  • 17 Jan 2017 – Getting Personal, 3 Sessions, $245
  • 26 Jan 2017 – Chapter 12 Explained, 1 Session, $45
  • ?? Feb 2017 – Prospecting, 10 Sessions, $1050

Getting Personal with High Probability Selling – Level 1.  This is a good place to start learning HPS.  It is a group workshop on one of the most important parts of High Probability Selling, which is how we interact with people.

The price is $245 per person.  This covers 3 sessions, spaced 1 week apart, plus recordings of each session (which are sent to participants only). Conducted by telephone (teleconference, interactive), with practice exercises to do during and between sessions.  Led by Carl Ingalls.

Schedule. The next Getting Personal workshop starts on Tuesday 17 January 2017, and continues with the two Tuesdays that follow (24 and 31 Jan).  The starting time for each session is 2pm USA Eastern Time.  Duration of each session is 1 to 2 hours.

For more details, or to purchase, please see www.HighProbSell.com/workshops/tri1/


Chapter 12 Explained.  This is a review and explanation of all of the steps in the entire High Probability Selling process, with answers to participant’s questions.

The price is $45 per person.  This covers 1 session, 60 to 90 minutes long, plus a recording of the session.  Conducted by telephone (teleconference, interactive), with questions and answers.  Led by Carl Ingalls.

Schedule:  Thursday 26 January 2017, at 3:30pm USA Eastern Time.

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

To listen to a sample of the 18 Aug 2016 recording of this workshop, please click here.  The full recording is available for purchase for $29 USD.


Prospecting with High Probability – New.  This group workshop covers a detailed process of how to contact people (reaching out), and how to respond to people who contact us.

Updated Process – The High Probability Prospecting process has been updated to reflect changes in the way people use the telephone today.  The expert in the updated version of High Probability Prospecting is Paul Bunn, who will be teaching this course.

The price is $1050 per person.  This covers 10 group sessions, 60 to 90 minutes long, plus 30 minutes of individual coaching for each participant.  Conducted by telephone (teleconference, interactive), with questions and answers.  All sessions are recorded.  Recordings of group sessions are sent to the group.  Recordings of individual sessions are sent to the individual.

Schedule – February 2017.  Dates and times will be announced here on this blog as soon as they are have been determined.  If you have a preference, please let us know.  Sessions will be spaced 1 week apart.

For more details about this workshop and what is covered, please see www.HighProbSell.com/workshops/prospecting/


Other Workshops.  For information about other group workshops, and also about individual coaching, please visit the HPS training webpage at www.HighProbSell.com/workshops

All times are in USA Eastern Time, which is the same time zone as New York City.

All prices are in USA Dollars.

Upcoming Workshops in January 2017

Limit the Scope of Prospecting Offers

A High Probability Prospecting offer should be very specific, with a limited scope.  Avoid using a more general offer that tries to encompass most of what you do.

Some examples:

Instead of saying “I sell life insurance”, use at least two separate offers, where each excludes the other:

  • “I sell a whole life insurance policy that …”
  • “I sell a term life insurance policy that …”

Instead of saying “We offer IT support services”, break that down into two or more very specific offers:

  • “We provide a remote help desk service that …”
  • “We offer a network monitoring service that …”

This can be a very scary thing to do.  It doesn’t feel right to purposely exclude such a large portion of the audience in each prospecting offer.

Part of the reason it doesn’t feel right is that most of us are too desperate about each prospecting call, and emotionally attached to a positive outcome.  This makes us behave as if this is our only chance to get the prospect to buy from us.

But High Probability Prospecting is not about “getting” the prospect to buy.  It’s about finding someone who wants what we are selling, and is ready to buy now.

We do that by calling the same prospects over and over, with different prospecting offers.  Over time, they get a very good picture of what we are about.  Doing this in small bites gets better results than trying to get the entire message across at once.

Limit the Scope of Prospecting Offers

High Probability Prospecting Offers Reviewed Here

We invite you to submit your High Probability Prospecting Offer as a comment on this post.  Jacques Werth and/or Carl Ingalls may review your prospecting offer and provide suggestions on how it can be made more consistent with High Probability Prospecting.

We also invite other readers to comment on people’s prospecting offers.  Many of our readers are very knowledgeable about High Probability Prospecting.

Before you submit a prospecting offer for review, keep in mind these points.

  • Review Guidelines for Creating a High Probability Prospecting Offer (a previous post on this blog).
  • Add a comment to this blog post, and include your prospecting offer in your comment.
  • Before you click on the button to submit your comment, you may want to click on the checkbox that says “Notify me of followup comments via e-mail”.
  • Submit only one prospecting offer at a time.  If you put more than one prospecting offer in your comment, we are less likely to respond.
  • Do not include any hyperlinks in the body of your comment.  You may enter a hyperlink in the text box labeled “URI” if you wish.
  • Your comment (and any replies to it) will be public, available for anyone to see.  You may use your real name and your real company name if you want, or you may use an alias instead, like “This is John Doe of ABC Company.”

Please note that this is an experiment.  We don’t know how well it will work.  If it turns out well, we may continue it.  If not, we may remove this post and all comments.

High Probability Prospecting Offers Reviewed Here

Guidelines for Creating a High Probability Prospecting Offer

by Jacques Werth and Carl Ingalls

Structure.  There are 4 parts to a High Probability Prospecting Offer:

  1. Identify yourself (full name) and who you represent (name of organization).
  2. Identify what you are selling in this particular offer.
  3. Identify a feature about what you are selling.
  4. Identify a different feature.

Note that the question you ask after presenting the offer is not counted as part of the offer.

Guidelines.  Keep these points in mind when creating a prospecting offer.

  • Make the offer very specific.  Do not try to create an offer that covers everything you sell.  You need to be able to call the same prospect again with a different offer.
  • Be factual and use neutral matter-of-fact wording.
  • Use simple language.  Avoid jargon, even when you are certain that the prospect would understand it.
  • Avoid persuasion.  Do not include anything that sounds like a reason why the prospect should buy.
  • Be very brief and concise.  Use a maximum of 45 words in the offer.  Less is better.
  • When you identify yourself, it is best to start with “This is”.  The results are better than if you say “My name is”.  We don’t know why.
  • Don’t say “Hello” and don’t say “How are you”.
  • Use your full name.  Never use your first name by itself.
  • For instance, “This is Jacques Werth of High Probability Selling.”
  • When you identify what you are selling, make sure your wording is simple and easy to understand.
  • A feature is a concrete attribute that describes part of what you are selling.  It is not an expected outcome or benefit.
  • A feature can be something that differentiates your product or service.
  • A feature can be used to “paint a picture” of what you are selling, in a way that makes it more real or solid in the prospect’s mind.
  • Use features to make your offer more specific.  Next time you call the same prospect with an offer for the same product or service, use a different set of features.

Having good prospecting offers is important, but it’s only part of the process.  How you use your prospecting offers is just as important.

Happy prospecting.


2016-10-28 Update by Carl Ingalls

We now believe that 45 words is far too long, and are now recommending a maximum of 30 words in a High Probability Prospecting Offer.  Less is usually better, even if it means that you have to use only one feature instead of two.

When counting the words in your offer, make sure you include all 4 parts of the offer that are listed at the beginning of this blog post (unless you skip part #4).  However, do not include the question you ask immediately after the offer.

 

Guidelines for Creating a High Probability Prospecting Offer