High Probability Prospecting Ė Some Basics:
“Easy, Effective, Efficient, and Enjoyable!”

by Jacques Werth, Founder of High Probability Selling.  © 2003

It is 100% certain that at any given time, a small percentage of the population wants to buy your products and services.  We call them “High Probability Prospects.”

Finding High Probability Prospects

What's the exact percentage ready and willing to buy?  It depends on the product or service.  It also depends on the effectiveness of marketing efforts: bulls-eye, targeted marketing yields a higher percentage of high probability prospects.

How can you hit the bulls-eye with your prospecting?  Find out the demographics of the highest probability prospects - data on average customers and profiles of the largest customers.  Ask the Product Managers at companies you represent for these demographics.  These demographics are profiles of your High Probability Prospects.

High Probability Prospects are not people who are merely “interested” in what you have to sell.  They are likely to want what you sell.  It's just as easy to find people who want to buy as it is to find people who have to be persuaded.  However, the former are much easier to close.

Once you match up your products with the right prospecting list, call them all.  Never mind introducing yourself, or using any kind of “sales pitch.”  Just tell them:

  1. Who you are and who you represent;
  2. What you're selling;
  3. Two features (not benefits) of the product or service;
  4. Ask if it's what they WANT.

Follow that outline.  Be sure your entire offer is no more than 45 words. 

Don't waste time with low probability prospects

If the prospect says “no,” you say “Okay, good bye.”  Wait for them to say “good bye,” hang up, and immediately dial the next one on your list.

If the prospect says “Yes,” you say “Why?”  If they have a good reason, make an appointment.  If they are only “interested,” don't.  Remember not to use the word “interested” in your offer, since “interested” implies a lack of commitment and a low probability of buying.

If a prospect wants you to send literature, get their email address and send a standard file with a standard cover note.  Donít put anything in the mail.  Call back within 5 days and present a different prospecting offer for the same product or service.

Do not leave voice mails.  You will sell less and add to your frustration if you do. 

Be systematic.  Keep good records.

Keep records of every offer that you make, including the specific number of the offer, the date, and the time.  You need that information because you'll call the same list at least every 4 weeks.  If you donít reach the prospect, no notes are necessary.

Make a different offer each time you contact a prospect.  Your offer can be for the same product, but change it to include two different features.  Or, your offer can be for another product.  The important thing is “not to” present the same offer to the same people each time you call.

The average person using this method dials 67 calls an hour.  Some dial as many as 100 per hour.  Depending on your prospecting list and the time you're calling, you can make offers to between 10 and 35 percent of the people you try to reach. 

Over 2,000 people have learned this prospecting process and most of them are still using it.  It's easy, effective, efficient and enjoyable.  And, it eliminates almost all of the rejection created by traditional prospecting methods.

2019 Update

People don't pick up the phone as quickly as they used to, which means that the prospector spends more time listening to it ringing.  Also, more businesses are now using telephone menu systems to process incoming phone calls, and it takes time to navigate through those menus.  This reduces the number of dials per hour.

A prospector is more likely to get voice mail these days, which reduces the reach rate.  It used to be that the prospector's time was better spent calling the next number on the list than leaving a voice message.  Today, we recommend leaving a voice message most of the time, as long as it is very short.

When we do get through to a decision-maker, we use shorter prospecting offers - 30 words instead of 45.  Sometimes this means that we use only one feature instead of two.