High Probability Selling

Sale Book Review High Probability SellingHigh Probability Selling

Book by: Werth and Ruben

Summary by: Rob Reed

Introduction – High Probability Selling

High Probability Selling is one of the more unique sales books both in its presentation and content. The book uses a conversational format between different “characters” to explain a variety of selling concepts. The basic premise of the authors is that “traditional” selling techniques of the past were focused on getting the prospect to buy through whatever means necessary – convincing, persuading or even pressuring. According to Werth and Ruben, the paradigm shifts with High Probability Selling from “getting the prospect to buy to determining whether there is a mutually acceptable basis for doing business and, if not, to go your separate ways.”

Summary – High Probability Selling

The basic philosophy of the authors is that you should only spend time, money, and effort on prospects where there is a high probability for a sale. They contend that most sellers waste a lot of time on too many of the wrong prospects, which leaves less time to spend on good selling opportunities. Instead of looking at every prospect as a potential sale, therefore, you should initially look for opportunities to “disqualify” prospects early and often. The result, they claim, will be less resistance by prospects, less rejection for you and more time spent on high quality prospects, thus resulting in more sales.

Their three phases of High Probability Selling include:

  1. High Probability Prospecting
  2. High Probability Selling
  3. High Probability Closing

High Probability Prospecting

What is your perspective on prospecting for customers? Is every customer on your account list or in your territory a viable prospect? Do you believe that you should “try anything” to get in the door and then convince the prospect they have a need? Werth and Ruben make the argument that this kind of “traditional” prospecting is for the most part a waste of time and energy on your part. The authors’ philosophy is that sellers’ primary objective should be to “disqualify” prospects, at any time in the process, who don’t meet certain criteria. When prospecting, “the objective is to spend our selling time only with prospects who need, want and can afford our product, who are ready to buy now and are willing to buy from us. Keep in mind, we don’t even want to make an appointment with anyone, unless he indicates he needs and wants what we have to offer.”

The authors view prospecting as an identification, rather than as a selling process. When phone prospecting, therefore, the objective is to identify high probability prospects and disqualify the rest as quickly as possible. The guidelines when prospecting by phone include:

  1. Develop and use an introduction of 45 words or less to clearly outline your offer.
  2. Ask the prospect if your offer is something they want.
  3. If your offer is something they want, ask the prospect if a meeting would be appropriate with the intention of doing business; or
  4. Ask when to call back with a commitment to move forward at that time.
  5. End the call if you receive a negative answer to any questions.

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