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

Eliminate the Fear of Cold Calling and Rejection

Get Real with Yourself

 

By Jacques Werth, President
High Probability® Selling

Fifty-one years ago I began to study selling — not just because I’m a curious, analytical type, but because I’ve always had a burning desire to succeed. When I was young I learned that big money can be made in sales and I wanted "my share." Later, I realized that only a tiny percentage of the people who entered the sales profession make it big.

Disappointment

Getting my first college degree, majoring in Industrial Sales, I “aced” all my sales courses. In my first sales job, I came to realize that what I learned in college didn’t work for me. After taking many other sales courses, I learned most corporate and commercial sales trainers couldn’t teach selling, either.

So, I set out to find the best salespeople, regardless of industry, to see what they did that other salespeople didn’t do. Over the years, I’ve gone out on sales calls with hundreds of the best salespeople and learned that the top 1% of all salespeople don’t sell the way the other 99% do.

Discovery – Honesty is the "Magic Bullet"

The most surprising thing I discovered is that most of the top salespeople are totally honest in their work. They’re honest with their prospects and customers, and they’re honest with themselves.

Numbers Don’t Lie

You have often heard that "sales is a numbers game." One of the big differences between the top salespeople and all the rest is that the best know their numbers. Top salespeople keep records of their sales activities every day, and they rigorously analyze their statistics.

Don’t Lie to Yourself!

The biggest barrier to success for most salespeople is that they don’t know their numbers, and they don’t want to know. That makes lying to themselves all too easy.

In every company we work with, almost all of the salespeople think and really believe that their closing rates are at least twice as high as they actually are, except for the few top salespeople.

Get Real – With Yourself

Most salespeople don’t know how to sell very well, but they think they do. If they knew their numbers, they would have to face the truth about their skills. They would have to change what they’re doing.

Change can be very uncomfortable. It’s more comfortable to lie to yourself than to change what you do every day. That’s one of the key reasons why most salespeople fail, and those that survive continue to struggle to make a good living.

False Prospects

Most salespeople spend most of their time with prospects that "have great potential," but seldom buy from them. The average salesperson goes through all of the motions that look like selling, but fails to bring in much business.

Average salespeople seldom truly qualify their prospects. They rarely dis-qualify their prospects, either. If they did, they would need to find new prospects — but they don’t know how prospect effectively, efficiently and enjoyably.

Real Relationships. Real Selling.

We know what top salespeople actually do when they’re selling. We have observed them in action and know what works and what doesn’t work. We know what top salespeople do to eliminate the rejection most salespeople have to live with and suffer with every day.

We know how they eliminate objections so they don’t have to "overcome" them. We know how they close dozens of times during each sales visit without any pressure on their prospects or themselves. Top salespeople develop relationships of mutual trust and respect with most of their prospects — without any phony "rapport building."

The essence of our book, "High Probability Selling," is how top salespeople actually sell. It’s about learning a selling process that makes it highly probable that you’ll close the majority of your prospects. And it’s what you can learn how to do in our sales training workshops.


 

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

 

Get Real with Yourself

9 Tips for Prospecting Success

by Jacques Werth
President, High Probability Selling

Prospecting effectively is often the key difference between success and failure in sales.

“Get me in front of them, and I can do the rest” is a commonly heard phrase from many salespeople, and prospecting is often seen as the most challenging part of the sales process.

The ability to prospect efficiently, effectively and enjoyably will enable you to meet with prospects that need, want and can afford your products and services – now.  When you meet with those kinds of prospects, your confidence will soar, and empower you to earn a consistently superior income.  Here’s how to find them:

9 Tips for Prospecting Success:

1.    Start with a highly targeted prospecting list, consisting of people or companies that are most likely to buy your type of products and services. Use a highly reputable list broker to find such a list. The cost should be no more than 25¢ per name. Start with a list of no more than 500 names.  If you have a sufficient book of business already, you can also call your existing customers as if they are new prospects.

2.    Call every name on your list every 3-4 weeks. Understand that only a small percentage of your list will be ready to buy the first time that you call. More will be ready each successive time that you call. Most prospects will not want to meet with you until you have presented prospecting offers at least three times.

3.    Present a “prospecting offer” of no more than 45 words that clearly states who you are, what you are selling, and two features of your product or service. Finish up with “Is that what you want?” Change the two features of your offer each subsequent time you contact your list. That will prevent most prospects from getting annoyed. It will also eliminate most of the rejection that is caused by traditional cold calling.

4.    Differentiate yourself by taking “no” for an answer.  If the prospect says “No” or “I’m not interested,” you say “Okay, good bye.” Do not press for an appointment. Do not try to engage the prospect in a conversation or ask any further questions or build a relationship.  Differentiate yourself…be the salesperson that respects what prospects say…even if it’s “no”.  Let that build the relationship.

5.    Schedule your prospecting sessions for 3½ hours. Take a fifteen-minute break between each hour.  Don’t mix your prospecting time in with other tasks.

6.    Record yourself. Use a recorder with an open microphone to record your side of each call.  Play it back and listen to how you sound (from the perspective of you as a prospect). The goal is to hear yourself using usual conversational tones.  Do not try to sound like a professional salesperson.  Do not try to come across as overly enthusiastic, unusually friendly or enticing. Just relax and present your offer without persuasion.

7.    Always be in a “Disqualification” mode. Be determined to spend your selling time only with High Probability Prospects. Disqualify low probability prospects quickly and courteously.  Don’t allow desperation or anxiousness to deter you from that mission.

8.    Accept the fact that prospecting really is a “numbers game”. The most important numbers are your Dials Per Hour and the ratio of prospecting Offers to Dials.

9.    Keep accurate statistics of your prospecting sessions. We have trained thousands of salespeople to be successful prospectors. The most successful of those keep very accurate statistics. The act of keeping statistics will cause your subconscious mind to constantly improve your results. Our “High Probability Prospecting Activity Record” form may help you do this. You can download it from www.HighProbSell.com/Blog_Support/

Effective telephone prospecting is one of the most productive ways to build up your sales volume, with very little up-front expense and a minimum of marketing expertise.

Start with telephone prospecting, and eventually you will get so many referrals from your existing customers that you will need to an assistant to prospect for you.


 

Until Next Time…Sell Well

Jacques Werth – High Probability Selling

Copyright 2007.

9 Tips for Prospecting Success

Selling – Why is it So Hard to Learn?

By Jacques Werth

High Probability Selling

The primary reason it is so hard to learn to sell (well) is that almost all modern selling systems do not work very well. Virtually all selling systems are based on the “Needs Selling” paradigm, which was developed over seventy years ago.  Modern versions of Needs Selling such as, “Consultative Selling,” “Solution Selling,” Spin Selling,” and “Value Based Selling,” etc., are all based on the same premise.  

The basic premise of almost all ancient and modern selling systems is that a salesperson is supposed to meet with “interested” prospects, and persuade and convince them to buy.  Those systems worked well until the mid-1980s.  None of the techniques and systems designed for persuading and convincing are still very effective.  

Virtually every other business discipline has gone through a multitude of changes in order to accommodate the myriad technical, psychographic, social and business changes that occurred over the last fifty years.  However, sales is still about persuading and convincing interested prospects to buy.

Therefore, people keep inventing new techniques for persuading and convincing.   Between Tom Hopkins’ first book “Mastering the Art of Selling” in 1981, until Charles Vega’s “1001 Professional Sales Tips” in 2006, many thousands of sales techniques have been developed.

As an example, one trainer teaches “99 ways to close a sale.”  When it was suggested that no one could actually remember 99 different closing techniques, he responded, “It is not that difficult.  There are really only 9 different closing techniques, and 11 variations of them, depending on the situation. So, you only need to remember 20 ways to close.”

With thousands of techniques and systems touting different ways to do the same thing, how can anyone remember and decide what to do and when to do it?  It is a wonder that anyone can learn how to sell.

Even now, you are still expected to convince and persuade prospects to buy something they are merely interested in.  How can you expect to do that, when it is so difficult to convince yourself to do anything differently?

Contrast all of that with High Probability Selling.

The basic premise is to meet with prospects who already want to buy the features of your products and services, and to mutually determine whether you have an acceptable basis for doing business.  No persuading or convincing is required.

In High Probability Prospecting, there are 12 basic responses to telephone prospecting offers.  And, there is one standard reply to each of those responses. You have those 12 replies printed out in front of you when you are prospecting. No memorization is required.   

There are two basic ways to set up appointments with prospects.  There are five basic questions to get commitments to do business.  That too, requires no memorization.

When you visit with committed prospects, eighty percent of the time you are working from a printed questionnaire.  There are four basic closes that are utilized about 35 times, at appropriate points throughout the questionnaire.
No memorization is required, and no pressure or discomfort is generated.  

Even during free-form discussions and inquiries, you are working from a guideline with seven basic rules.  Hardly any memorization required.  

You do not have to constantly apply your brainpower to search your memory for what comes next or for the best reply to a question.  Therefore, you can use it to really listen to your prospects and work with them effectively.

High Probability Selling is a step-by-step sales process.  It is relatively easy to learn.  It can be customized for your products, services and markets.  Like any other tool or process, skill comes with utilization. You still have to do the work if you want to earn what the real professionals earn.  But first you need to decide – do you want to learn this new sales process? 


 

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 – Why is it So Hard to Learn?

The “Real World” Numbers Game

By Jacques Werth, President
High Probability® Selling


"Sales is a numbers game" is something most salespeople are taught from Day One on the job. The general concept is true.  Almost no one, however, asks what those “numbers” really are based upon.

In the insurance industry, most new agents are taught the "Standard Sales Formula – 100/10/3". That is, contact 100 people, get 10 appointments, and sell 3 policies.  The salespeople who still believe in this will coincidentally report having a 30 percent closing ratio.  Sounds good so far?   

In reality, less than 1 percent of the million plus insurance agents in the USA can consistently produce those results. It turns out that this “Standard Sales Formula’ is nothing more than a commonly held assumption.  Other industries have their own “Standard” bogus formulas.

Bogus numbers lead to bogus sales goals and unreal expectations.  These unreal expectations inevitably result in disappointment and discouragement.  On the other hand, ‘real-world’ numbers, based on ‘real-world’ sales activity in the field, can guide you through the sales process and lead to increasingly encouraging results.  The best salespeople *really* know their numbers.

Most salespeople, however, diligently and accurately track their numbers, hoping that the standard formula will hold true for them.  When they find that reality falls short of their industry’s commonly held assumptions, most of them stop measuring what is really happening.  

Because they are no longer measuring, they don’t change very much of what they’re doing, with the exception of working on a few sales techniques, based on their current view of what’s not working. They expect their results to change dramatically, and immediately.  That’s not how the world works!

One of the three primary fundamentals of the High Probability Selling process is to meticulously track all sales activity, at every step of the sales process, from initial contact through to the signing of the contract.  By monitoring and measuring the results of each discrete step of the selling process, you can constantly refine your selling skills. The result is steady, gradual improvement, until you are producing optimal results and have become a Top Producer.

If you don’t monitor and measure your sales activity, you are typical of 98% of the thousands of salespeople we’ve observed over the years. Most of those salespeople struggle with their jobs every day. Without knowing exactly what you are doing, and how much you are doing it, the probability of improving your sales performance is extremely low.

Yes, sales is a numbers game, but only ‘real-world’ numbers apply. Keep statistics on EVERYTHING that you do- it’s easy, once you get into the habit. Now is the best time to start keeping sales performance records.

Your statistics will enable you to understand, tweak, and improve your selling skills. The result?

Some initial discomfort…and a dramatic improvement in your sales success.


 

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 “Real World” Numbers Game

How Much Does It Cost?

By Jacques Werth

President, High Probability Selling

When the first thing out of a prospect’s mouth is “How Much Does it Cost?” how do you respond?

We get a few calls a day from people who ask the price of our sales training courses. Here is how we respond.
 
Do you want training for a single individual or a group?
 
Do you want the interactive Instructor Led Distance Learning Tele-Classes, or on-site classes, where you can look at an instructor in front of the room?
 
Do you want just the High Probability Prospecting course, which consists of nine, 90-minute sessions? Or do your want the entire course including both High Probability Prospecting and High Probability Selling, which consists of twenty-one, 90-minute sessions?
 
Note: We do not deviate from the discussion of price, but we do ask questions that focus in on what the prospect wants.
 
By that time, over 60% of the people who called about price are asking a lot of questions about how the courses are conducted, how much can they expect to retain and utilize, how much memorization is required (none),what kind of results can be expected, etc.
 
Very early in the conversation we get most call-ins to go to our website (almost 40% are already there) and click on the "sales training" pages where the pricing options are clearly delineated.  And, we answer their questions without trying to "build value."  
 
Our closing rates are very high.
 
The name of our company is "High Probability Selling." That means we do not do what we believe is logical, reasonable and really should work. It means that, we keep statistics, we know what works best, and that is what we do.

Do you want to hold on to your beliefs about what should work in selling, or do you want to learn, and gain the skills to utilize, what really works? 


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 Much Does It Cost?

Don’t Waste Time

By Jacques Werth, President
High Probability® Selling

Most customers make up their minds about your product or service within the first 30 seconds of a prospecting call. For this reason, you should avoid wasting your time on those who make a negative response as soon as you’ve made your offer.

Use your cold calls to eliminate those prospects who have a low probability of ever buying from you. A short, simple Prospecting Offer that describes who you are, and what you’re selling, is all you need to do this.

If the prospect doesn’t want what you’re selling, end the call and move on to the next prospect. However, be sure to call the prospect again in about four weeks – with a different prospecting offer.

 

 


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

Don’t Waste Time