Impact of High Probability Selling On My Life

Hi Jacques,

A lot has happened in my life since I took your High Probability Prospecting class.  I want to say that you’ve made a huge impact on my life and way of thinking.  And I thank you for that.

Doing business only with people I trust and respect has been a major piece to increasing my self-confidence and self-respect.  I know it may seem obvious and basic to you, but it was a brand-new concept to me.  It never dawned on me that I had a choice about who I dealt with.  It makes ALL the difference in the world.

Little things like always introducing myself as “Michael Henry” instead of simply “Michael” has definitely caused people to treat me differently.  Every time I hear my business peers introduce themselves only with their first name (which is most of the time) it makes me think of you and your excellent advice.

Using the phone strategies and etiquette that you taught me has made my business calls much more effective, efficient, and productive.  And just like you said, if people realize that I’m genuinely interested in who they are and how they got to where they are in life, they will pour it out.  It’s nothing short of magical.  People tell me all kinds of things about themselves if I just ask and honestly listen.  Jacques, it’s opened up an incredible new world to me!

Understanding — at a deep level — that people only buy what they want (not what they need) has helped me tremendously in dealing with people.  Realizing that a positive mental attitude is bullshit has also helped me chart a course in my life that gets me where I want to go.

Even though I am not currently in a sales position, I am frequently using many of the life philosophy and concepts that you taught me.  I am forever grateful to you for that.

Not a day goes by that I don’t put into action the life philosophy you taught me.  And I’m a much happier, healthier guy because of it.

Michael Henry

Impact of High Probability Selling On My Life

Go-Getters and Go-Finders

by Jacques Werth and Carl Ingalls

Most salespeople are Go-Getters.  That is their basic attitude.

They try to get an appointment with every prospect that might need what they sell.  They try to get around gatekeepers.  They try to get the prospect interested in their pitch by stressing benefits.

When they meet, they try to get the prospect to like them.  They try to get the prospect to trust them.  They try to get the prospect to understand the value of what they sell.

They try to get the prospect to say “Yes” using various tactics of subtle persuasion.  They focus on overcoming every objection so they can get to the close.  If not, they try to get the prospect to continue the sales process.

Most top sales producers are Go-Finders.  That is their basic attitude.

They find people who want what they are selling.  They find decision makers who are ready and able to buy.  They find a way to work with gatekeepers, not against them.

When they meet, they find out how much they trust the prospect.  They find any potential deal-breakers as early as possible.  If they see a serious issue, they cut their losses and move on quickly.

In closing, they find out if each feature of their product or service will actually meet the prospect’s requirements.  To find the truth and not just get a “yes,”  they disclose all known disadvantages as well as the advantages.

The result is that the Go-Finders find a lot more sales in a lot less time than the Go-Getters can create.

Go-Getters and Go-Finders

Dodging Price Creates Doubt

by Jacques Werth

Most salespeople avoid answering the price question until after they have built value in the eyes of the prospect.  How do you feel about a salesperson who dodges your questions about price when you are the buyer?  Most prospects know exactly what the salesperson is doing and they resent it.  That resentment ends in too many “I have to think it over” results.

At the beginning of the sales process many prospects ask about price.  Most salespeople conclude that price must be very important to that prospect.  However, less than twenty percent of major purchases (excluding commodities) go to the low price supplier.

Most of the top sales producers have a very different attitude when a prospect asks about price.  They respond without hesitation, and give the prospect an authentic price range.  Example:  “Depending on exactly what you want, the price range is between $16,000 and $24,000.  Are you able and willing to buy within that range?”

Top sales producers understand that most prospects who ask about price only want to know whether the price is in the ballpark of what they can and will pay.

If the prospect does not ask the price question early in the sales process, top sales producers bring it up.  They want to know the prospect’s answer to avoid wasting time and emotional stamina on a prospect that is very unlikely to buy.

Dodging Price Creates Doubt

What Would Your Customer Say?

by David Brock on July 21st, 2011

A major part of what I do for a living is to help individuals and organizations improve their performance and sales effectiveness.  I participate in a lot of meetings where I’m asked to review the sales effectiveness initiatives of organizations.  These people are very bright, extremely capable and have tremendous backgrounds in selling.  The initiatives they talk about are always very interesting.  There’s a huge amount of logic behind what they are trying to do.  They support their initiatives with great data, and sometimes the expert views of other consultants.

I sit in these reviews, I’m buying into what they are saying, I’m about to give them the “Dave Brock Seal of Approval,” (That and a few dollars gets you coffee from your favorite barista).  Then I get to the part where I ask questions.  My first question is usually:  “What do your customers say?”  or I might ask, “How many customers did you talk to about how you could be more effective in selling to them?”

This is where things start going south.  80% of the time, the response is, “We couldn’t possibly ask our customers this!”  Or the response is, “We’d upset our selling relationship by asking the customers how we could be more effective.”  They immediately try to proceed by presenting all the data.  They have customer performance data, they’ve segmented customers by performance, loyalty, maybe even profitability.  They may present customer satisfaction data.  All of this is good, all support what they are trying to achieve.

But I come back to the question, “What would your customer say?”  By this time, I’m either getting blank or hostile stares.

What’s interesting, is the 20% of the companies that do ask their customers the question, that do engage the customer in helping to define how they want to be sold to and what complements how they want to buy.  The insights are really interesting, the answers are sometimes so simple.  My friend, Mike Kunkle, shared a story.  In a past job, he went and asked the customers, “How can our sales organization be more effective in working with you?”  The response was different than anyone thought, “Answer the phone.”  They worked on “answering the phone.”  Relationships improved tremendously, sales effectiveness improved, results improved.

Several years ago, we did the same with a large technology company.  We went to their major accounts and asked, “How can we be more effective in selling and supporting you?”  The feedback was remarkable—we found major problems in coverage, we learned new ways of engaging.  We found a problem that too many people were involved in selling to them, making if very difficult to know how to buy.  We learned that we could support these major accounts in a very different way, with far fewer resources, but produce even better sales results.  We learned that we didn’t have to have field sales people in every location, but could have field sales people in a few key locations, complemented by telesales, and partners.  We were able to reduce cost of selling to this group of major accounts by 27% and increase revenue by 33%—a phenomenal increase in sales effectiveness/productivity.

In each example, usually the customer gives us insight that we may have never thought of.  Sometimes, there are things that can’t be put in place, sometimes, the solutions (such as answering the phone) are very simple.

For decades, product developers have known that we need customer input to design and develop products that meet their needs.  Early customer involvement is de rigueur in every high performing product development team.

Maybe it’s time to adopt the same principles in looking at improving our sales effectiveness and productivity.  Maybe it’s time to ask the customer.  You may be surprised at how simple the solution might be!


This article originally appeared in the Partners in EXCELLENCE Blog, at http://partnersinexcellenceblog.com/what-would-your-customer-say/

What Would Your Customer Say?