When Someone is Interested in Something You Sell, What Does That Mean?

It depends on how you want to sell.

If you want to sell by talking someone into buying, “interested” is an opportunity to try to do just that.  Interested doesn’t mean that they are likely to buy from you.  It only means you have someone who will probably listen to you while you talk.

If you want to sell by finding someone who is likely to buy, then “interested” is an opportunity to do some finding out.  Find out what is behind that interest.  It may mean that the interested person is close to making a purchase decision and wants some information, or it may only mean that the interested person wants to be educated.

When I first started learning High Probability Selling, I was taught that “interested” was a poison word, something that salespeople should avoid.  It means that a prospect is not ready to buy, and is likely to waste the salesperson’s time.  I understood immediately what my teachers were talking about.  I happen to be a person who is interested in just about everything, even when I have no interest in buying, and I began to feel some pity for the salesperson who encountered someone like me.

There is no need to avoid the word “interested” as long as you are clear about what it means for the way you choose to sell.  Richard Himmer (one of my other teachers in HPS) made a useful distinction between Interested and Interesting.  In High Probability Selling, the salesperson is the one who is interested, and the prospect is the one who is interesting.  It’s usually the other way around for salespeople who want to try to influence the prospect to buy.

I am very interested in any comments you may have.  You are all very interesting people.

 

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When Someone is Interested in Something You Sell, What Does That Mean?

How Can I Convince You That Convincing Doesn’t Work?

This is a question that I heard Jacques Werth ask many times, “How can I convince you that convincing doesn’t work?”

In a selling situation, Jacques knew that attempting to convince someone was not a good use of a salesperson’s time.  However, he was usually in a marketing situation when he asked that question, and he passionately wanted salespeople to become more successful.

Now that Jacques is retired, it’s my turn to ask, “How can I convince you that convincing doesn’t work?”

Here are some answers to think about:

  1. I could try to convince you by giving you logical arguments and reasons why you can’t convince someone.
    • Pros:  I’m very comfortable with creating and presenting logical arguments, and I’m good at it.  It works just often enough for me to keep trying.
    • Cons:  It hasn’t worked as well as I think it should.  Too many people resist being argued into a new belief.
  2. I could give you evidence of how other people have become more successful when they stopped trying to convince people.
    • Pros:  Some people can be influenced by evidence.  In this case, the evidence is available and doing this seems logical.
    • Cons:  Many people don’t trust evidence, because it is too often twisted and used to manipulate people’s beliefs.
  3. I could give up the idea of trying to convince you, and focus instead on finding someone who already believes that convincing doesn’t work.
    • Pros:  This is less stressful than trying to change someone’s mind, and can be a lot more effective (when done right).
    • Cons:  Working with people who already believe is tricky.  It is too easy to fall back to old habits, and turn them off by saying something persuasive.  Also, sometimes you don’t have the option of choosing who you are going to work with, and can’t just go find someone else.
  4. I could list some options for you to consider, providing my understanding of the pros and cons for each option, and without trying to steer you in any direction.  I could then ask you what you want to do.
    • Pros:  More people follow my advice when I present it objectively and don’t tell them what to do.
    • Cons:  Presenting advice this way is a lot more work.  It is frustrating to know that it would be so much quicker and easier if I just told you what to think.

What do you think?

How Can I Convince You That Convincing Doesn’t Work?

Don’t Try to Sell High Probability Selling to Your Boss

by Jacques Werth

Our office manager rang me and said “John Richardson is on line 5.  He took our workshops several months ago and he has a problem.  Can you talk to him now?”

I said, “Sure” and picked up the call.

“What’s the problem, John?”

He said, “Since I did your courses I’ve increased my average monthly sales volume by over forty-percent and it’s still climbing.  So, when I was talking to my sales manger last week I told him that he should have all the salespeople take your workshops.  He told me to describe how High Probability Selling works, so I did.  He listened, took notes, and said he would think about it.”

I said, “I can guess what happened next.”

John said, “He called me today and said that what I’ve been doing can’t possibly work and he wants me to stop immediately.  He insisted that I to go back to using the company’s standard sales process.”

I said, “We always tell salespeople who participate in our workshops that they should never try to convince anyone to use High Probability Selling, and especially not their boss.  Trying to convince people creates resistance.”

He said, “I thought he would love the idea of everyone increasing their sales the way I have.”

I said, “First, it’s not true that all the salespeople will increase their sales – some can’t or won’t.

“More importantly, most sales managers have a big personal investment in having everyone do whatever they believe in.  It’s very hard for them to change, especially if they don’t discover it themselves.  That’s why we ask everyone not to tell their mangers what they’re doing, but wait until they are asked.  Then, you should just say “It’s too complicated for me to explain, but I’ll give you the book if you want to read it.”

He said, “I was so excited about the results I’ve been getting, I forgot all about that.”

 

Don’t Try to Sell High Probability Selling to Your Boss