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?

Only Do Business With People You Can Trust

Obvious advice, but the hard part is deciding to follow it.  There are so many reasons not to.  Here are a few:

(Author’s note, for clarity.  Why I might decide to do business with someone I don’t really trust.)

  • I can’t afford to be picky – there aren’t enough choices out there.
  • I don’t trust any of them, so what difference does it make.
  • I trust everyone.
  • I don’t trust my ability to make decisions about trusting people.
  • They offer the lowest price.
  • They are the most convenient to work with.
  • I’ve been doing it my way for a long time, and nothing really bad has happened so far.
  • I’m smart enough to outsmart them, and I know how to keep from being cheated this time.
  • I enjoy taking risks.
  • I don’t want anyone to think I don’t trust them.
  • I am afraid of making a wrong decision about this. (from a comment by Steve Alexander)

There is value in putting your finger on exactly why you don’t want to do something.  You have to accept it for what it is, before you have any hope of changing it.  And even then, it can be a long process.

If you can think of more reasons you might decide to do business with someone you can’t really trust, please add them in the comments.  Thank you.

Only Do Business With People You Can Trust

Different and Incompatible Ways of Selling

Most salespeople try to get people to buy from them.  If this is the way you want to sell, then your success will depend upon how good you are at persuading and convincing, or at least influencing people.  You give them reasons to buy.  You focus on their needs and problems and expose vulnerabilities.  You use techniques to build rapport and make them like you and trust you.  If a sale doesn’t occur, it’s because you failed.  Perhaps you weren’t persuasive enough or friendly enough.

In High Probability Selling, we look for and work with people who want what we are selling, and who are likely to buy from us very soon.  If this is the way you want to sell, then your success will depend upon how good you are at finding these people, and how good you are at assessing the probability that they will buy from you in the near future.  You let prospective customers make their own decisions, for their own reasons and in their own time.  You focus on what they want and when.  Then you focus on whether you want to do business with them or not.  If a sale doesn’t occur, it’s either because they didn’t want what you are selling right now, or because you have decided not to go ahead at this time.

Both strategies have their proponents, and both strategies have successful salespeople.  However, they are completely incompatible with each other.  You can’t pick and choose elements from each.  They just don’t mix.

Everything depends upon what you choose.  Just pick one or the other.

 

Different and Incompatible Ways of Selling

Relationship Selling

Would you trust someone who tried to form a relationship with you solely for the purpose of selling you something?

Many salespeople believe that the key to getting someone to buy is to build a “relationship” first.  They are the ones who say “how are you” on a cold call.

Saying “how are you” on a cold call is one of the signs that someone is going to try to get you to buy.  You may have noticed that, consciously or unconsciously, and it may affect your decision about whether you will buy from that salesperson or not.

In High Probability Selling, we don’t try to build relationships.  Relationships come from doing business, not the other way around.

Relationship Selling

We Are All Salespeople At Birth

by Jacques Werth

As new born infants, our survival depends on how well we can manipulate adults, usually our parents, in order to get what we need to thrive.  We are instinctively programmed to keep trying all kinds of tactics to get nourishment, comfort, and safety.  Fortunately, our parents and most other adults are programmed to respond well to this.  We then continue to learn manipulation and persuasion techniques as our lives go on.

By the time we are in our teens, we have been inundated with hundreds of different marketing, advertising, and sales tactics.  In response to those tactics, we learn how to resist the techniques that others use on us to try to make us do what they want.  This is the origin of sales resistance.

Sales experts are constantly developing new methods intended to negate our sales resistance.  However, no matter how subtle or persuasive their methods may be, most people have learned to intuitively sense it when they are being pushed or preyed upon.

Nevertheless, we have to buy stuff that we need and want.  Given a choice, we prefer to buy from a person whom we trust.  We also want to be trusted by others.  It’s not easy to become the kind of salesperson that people feel like trusting.  There is so much unlearning to do.  However, when we succeed at that we are far happier with our lives.

We Are All Salespeople At Birth

The “All Buyers Are Liars” Trap

by Jacques Werth and Carl Ingalls

The belief that “all buyers are liars” is a trap.  It sets up the salesperson for failure.

“All buyers are liars” is also a self-perpetuating belief that makes itself true, once you’ve fallen for it.  The belief makes you do things that sabotage trust.  Salespeople who exaggerate the benefits and ignore the negatives can’t be trusted by their prospects, who often respond by lying about their buying intentions.

However, you don’t hear “all buyers are liars” from the top producing salespeople.  They know that they are more likely to get the truth from prospects when they themselves are completely truthful.

Mistrust breeds mistrust.  If you think your buyers are liars, they will probably think the same about you.

The “All Buyers Are Liars” Trap

Driving Your Customers

by Carl Ingalls

Watch your language.  Driving is what we do to sheep.  Is that how you feel about your customers?  If so, it probably shows.  If not, then be careful about the language you use, and the messages it sends.

If you don’t respect your customers, and you don’t show this in every detail, you can’t expect them to respect you.  Lack of respect leads to lack of trust, and we all know what that does to sales.

Driving Your Customers