Prospect without Cold-Calling?
Well, Almost...

by Jacques Werth, Founder of High Probability Selling.  © 2005

We do not advocate cold calling in High Probability Selling.  However, cold calling is necessary at times.

You do need prospective clients and customers: If you don't have a customer list from which to solicit referrals, and you also lack an advertising/marketing budget, cold-calling to a highly targeted list is the fastest route to finding High Probability Prospects.

A High Probability Prospect is one who wants, needs, can afford, and is ready to buy your product or service - now.  Those who only want, need, and can afford - but are not ready to buy now - are prospects that you'll continue to contact in the future.

How does Cold Calling fit into High Probability Prospecting?

When you start to call your list, initial contacts will be cold calls: Only first-time calls are cold calls in High Probability Prospecting.  A truly effective prospecting campaign requires that you call the same list every 3 to 4 weeks, so after a short period of time, most of your calls will be warm calls.  A higher percentage of the people on your list will say “Yes” to your prospecting offer with each successive call.

5 Simple rules for maximum effectiveness and maximum efficiency:

  1. Don't repeat the same prospecting offer more frequently than every third call.
  2. Your offer must be no longer than 45 words, describing your product/service and mentioning two of its features.
  3. Your prospecting offer must clearly request a “Yes” or “No” answer.
  4. When prospects say “No,” you say, “Okay, good-bye.”
  5. When prospects say “Yes,” you say, “Why?”

With practice, you should be able to make at least 50 dials per hour.  You'll find an increasing number of High Probability Prospects with each pass through your list.  You'll be on your way to making appointments with people who are ready to buy what you're selling - right now.

High Probability Prospecting won't eliminate cold-calling entirely.  You will, however, be making relatively fewer Cold Calls.  You'll also eliminate most of the Rejection associated with cold-calling.

2019 Update

Today, we recommend that each prospecting offer contain a maximum of 30 words, not counting the question about want that we ask immediately following the offer.  Sometimes this means using one feature instead of two.  Also, see the HPS Blog article on How to Say Ok Goodbye When a Prospect Says No