How Do You Sell High Probability Selling?

Jacques Werth and I talked about this many times.  I believe that it is extremely important to follow High Probability Selling (HPS) when selling it.  Practice what you teach.

One of the problems of using persuasive arguments to market and sell HPS is that you attract people who live in that world, the world of convincing people.  You end up caring about and being frustrated with people who will have an especially difficult time learning and using HPS.

As Jacques used to say, “How can I convince you that convincing doesn’t work?”

When you feel very passionate about something (like HPS), it is very difficult to maintain any emotional detachment when selling it.  That passion can come across as emotional pressure, which creates resistance at an emotional level.

Jacques was very well aware of the problem and knew what he had to do.  “But,” as he would say, “it’s my baby!”

And now it’s my turn.

I also feel very passionately about High Probability Selling.  It has changed my life.  And like Jacques, I can be drawn into arguments about the benefits of it (and like him, I always regret it).

But it’s not my baby, and I try to remember that.

I try to remember to:

  • Inform, not persuade
  • Talk about features, not benefits
  • Focus on individuals who already know what HPS is
  • Educate large audiences whenever possible
  • Find people who have already decided they want HPS for their own reasons, not people who feel they need to be talked into it
  • Invest in people and situations that are most likely to lead to successful outcomes in the long run

Using High Probability Selling with Network Marketing and with Multi-Level Marketing

Does High Probability Selling work with Network Marketing? Does High Probability Selling work with Multi-Level Marketing? What’s the difference?

Does High Probability Selling work with Network Marketing?  Does High Probability Selling work with Multi-Level Marketing?  What’s the difference?

I believe that High Probability Selling (HPS) should work with Network Marketing, when it is only used to sell a product or a service, and when several other conditions are met (see below).  However, I haven’t yet seen any examples, good or bad, where those other conditions have been met.

Jacques Werth believes that HPS will not work at all with Multi-Level Marketing (MLM), based on his own experience.  He trained a number of people in one of these organizations how to use HPS.  It was very successful in increasing product sales, but it was not successful in meeting the organization’s other objectives.  Ultimately, I suspect there was a problem with transparency.

Network Marketing and Multi-Level Marketing are similar to each other in that they both use a large number of agents (that are not employees) to do a combination of marketing and selling.  The main difference between them is that the Multi-Level Marketing is built on multiple levels of agents, where agents who are higher up in the structure collect money from those who are lower.  In Network Marketing, when all agents are at the same level, the agents make money only when they sell a product or service.

Tony Shays presents a very clear distinction between Network Marketing and Multi-Level Marketing in his article “What Is the Difference Between Network Marketing and Multi-Level Marketing?

In any system, the methods of High Probability Selling work best when the following conditions are met:

  • Clarity.  What the buyer gets must be extremely clear and definite.  Simple to explain.
  • Transparency.  Potential negatives must be at least as visible as the potential positives.  The whole deal must be visible.  Full disclosure.
  • Honesty.  If the salesperson needs to deceive someone in order to make a sale, even by just a little bit or by omission, then HPS will not help.
  • Reputation.  If the organization has a poor reputation, which can happen when some of its agents sell by misleading customers, then High Probability Selling probably won’t work.
  • Know How.  You have to know how to find people who want what you are selling, for their own reasons and in their own time.  You also have to know how to interact with these special people, in ways that are extremely different from the norm.  A good place to start is by reading the book, High Probability Selling by Jacques Werth and Nicholas Ruben (can be purchased here).  After that, we also offer training.

If your Network Marketing or Multi-Level Marketing system meets the conditions above, then High Probability Selling might work for you.

Questions and comments are welcome.  I will respond to as many as I can. – Carl Ingalls

Upcoming HPS Workshops:
Chapter 12 Explained (15 Nov or 13 Dec, $45);  Getting Personal (6-20 Dec, $245);  Prospecting (Jan-Feb 2017)

The Fear of Not Selling

by Jacques Werth

The fear of not selling has too many salespeople pushing hard enough to be offensive.

No matter what their product or service, most salespeople will attempt to sell every potential prospect in hope of making a sale.  However, at any given time, most prospects are not ready, willing, or able to buy.  But for various reasons, a lot of prospects are willing to sit through a sales pitch while acting like they might buy – with no intention to do so.

Then, the salesperson becomes disappointed often enough, that they think that they should push harder, overcome objections, and try several closes.  Then they get rejected.

Most prospects buy for their own reasons, in their own time.  The right timing can put the salesperson in front of prospects when they are ready, willing, and able to buy – without pushing.

It’s Up to You

by Jacques Werth

I was head of sales and marketing for a company that provided production equipment to the electronics industry when I fired our sales representative for the upper Midwest.  I hired a young man named Ben as his replacement, and we brought him to the home office near Philadelphia for two weeks of product training.

A few weeks later Ben called to say that one of the largest manufacturers of radar detectors was interested in one of our production machines.  The prospect would probably buy several more machines if the first one worked to their satisfaction.  The prospect was also looking at two of our competitors’ machines.

Ben made a sales call to see their VP of Production, and he had one of our demo machines in his van.

A few days later, Ben called me to say that the prospect had decided to buy one of our competitor’s machines instead.  I asked him why?  Ben said that he didn’t know the reason.  I asked Ben if the prospect had actually tried out the demo machine.  He said. “No, we only went over the written specifications, which I left with him.”

I said, “Ben, I want you to call the VP and tell him that you are on the way to his plant to set up and run your demo machine.  That way, he can see how it works compared to what he has decided to buy.”

Ben said, “That’s over 160 miles from me.  It doesn’t make much sense if he’s already decided on a competitor’s machine.”

I said, “Ben, just make the call and let me know what he says.”

A couple of hours later, Ben called back and said the VP wanted him to bring the demo machine the following Monday.

I told Ben that we would have one of our field technicians fly into an airport near the prospect’s plant on Monday morning, and Ben should pick him up.  Then, the techie would set up the demo machine properly and train the prospect’s people, and Ben, how to use it.

About two weeks later Ben called me to say that the prospect wanted to buy the demo machine and a second one just like it.  Ben wanted to know whether he had to go all the way back to the customer’s plant to set up the second machine.

I said, “What do you want to do?”

Ben said, “Well we have a lot more equipment that they could probably use.  But, it’s a long trip.”

I said, “It’s up to you.”

Ben made that trip and several more.  By the end of the year that manufacturer was one of our top ten customers, and Ben was one of our top three salespeople.


You Can’t Sell High Probability Prospects That Way

by Jacques Werth

Frank, a southern California Realtor, called and said he wanted to learn High Probability Prospecting.  I asked “Why?”

He said, “Yesterday, I was a guest in a foursome at Shady Canyon and a couple of members, who are also Realtors, were raving about your prospecting system.  So, that’s exactly what I want.”

I said, “Have you read the High Probability Selling book?”

“No, I don’t need to,” he said.  “If it works for them it’ll work for me.”

“Not necessarily,” I said.  “The High Probability Prospecting process by itself isn’t likely to produce the kind of results they’re getting, without following through with the High Probability Selling process.”

Frank said, “They didn’t say anything about selling.  Besides, I already know how to sell.  I just need to get more appointments with good prospects.”

I asked, “Did they tell you anything about High Probability Selling?”

“Well,” he said, “they weren’t actually talking to me.  I just overheard them talking to another Realtor, and like I said, I just need more good appointments.”

I said, “The way you sell now is not likely to work with high probability prospects.  And, we don’t want anyone that we train to set themselves up for disappointment.”

“Why won’t it work?” he asked.

“We don’t know.  Some very smart people have tried, and learned the hard way.  Maybe there is something about that kind of prospect that just doesn’t work with ordinary selling methods.”

“Then what should I do?” he asked.

“You could read the book ‘High Probability Selling.’  It describes the entire process, both prospecting and selling, demonstrated through example dialogues.  If you read it, and you then decide that this really is what you want, give us a call.”

5 Toxic Behaviors that Kill Sales

by Jacques Werth

1. Assume the Sale.  Treat everyone who might buy from you as if they will.  Persuade and convince them.

People who are that easy to convince are probably unwilling or unable to buy.  Many more people will resent you making assumptions about what is theirs to decide.
2. Get Out There and Sell.  You can’t sell ’em if you don’t meet ’em.
You will waste a lot of time that way, yours and theirs.  That will probably be the last time you get to meet them.
3. Act Like a Consultant.  Present yourself as an expert and trusted advisor about what they need.
Most prospects know better than to believe that a salesperson can be an objective advisor.  Salespeople who pretend to be consultants are trusted even less.
4. Find Problems and Solve Them.  Uncover the prospect’s needs and persuade them that you have the solutions.
Most prospects have more problems than they can ever get handled.  If it’s not a top priority for them when you call, they will not buy.
5. Overcome Objections and Close the Sale.  Convince prospects that their objections are wrong, or are actually benefits.
Objections are usually caused by the salesperson’s lack of authentic disclosure or by the prospect’s lack of a commitment to buy.


Turning the Fear of Selling into Confidence

by Jacques Werth

In my first sales job, I visited over 100 potential customers a week.  Every time I walked into a company and asked to see the person who could make a decision to buy the kind of product I was selling, I did so with trepidation.  Each time, it became harder and more nerve wracking.

When I occasionally got to talk to decision makers, I was uncomfortable just trying to build a little rapport with them.  After 4 months, I had sold nothing, I was thoroughly discouraged, and I was ready to quit.

Then I got lucky.  The top salesperson in the huge company that employed me agreed to let me go on sales calls with him.  I learned a new way of selling by carefully observing how he worked.  I also learned that his truly relaxed way of communicating set him apart from other salespeople.

He did not do any of the typical rapport building techniques that salespeople are taught.  He knew how to control the conversation confidently without controlling the prospect.  After watching him for a couple of days, I learned how to do that by practicing his way of communicating with everyone I met.

Five years later, I was a highly successful salesperson and managed my first sales force.  Since that time, I have hired, trained, and managed hundreds of salespeople.  Most of them exhibited the same kind of anxiety that I did as a neophyte salesperson, even after they had been in sales for years.  I taught many of them how to be relaxed and confident, and they became much more successful.

Just as I did, people can learn to talk to almost anyone with confidence in their competence if they get the right kind of training and practice.

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