is essentially misrepresenting
her true agenda - to earn a commission. A salesperson's
primary objective is NOT to 'help' her clients and customers-
she wants to make money. If receiving money for her sales
efforts were not possible, she would be doing some other
kind of work.
Real consultants and advisors charge a fee for their advice.
Good advisors make *their client's* best interests paramount.
How many salespeople frequently advise their clients not to
buy their product or service, or to buy from their competitors?
By implication, advising encompasses full disclosure, including
warnings about the 'down' sides of choosing an option. Most
salespeople are very good at explaining the features and
benefits of their products and services. How many salespeople
disclose the detriments as well - without a prospect's
prompting? Those salespeople say that their job is to emphasize
the positives. Some even acknowledge that they are telling
"half-truths". However, it is deceptive and unethical to "lie by
omission". For the typical salesperson, it's just "part of the
This same old sales game is often dressed up as "Probing for
Problems and Solutions" in order to help the prospect. In
reality, anything we sell must meet some of the prospect's needs.
It may be an explicit business need, such as reducing the volume
of paperwork, or an executive's implicit want, such as possessing
the latest "must-have" gadget. There's nothing wrong with selling
something that someone wants to buy. However, it is deceptively
manipulative to "probe for hidden problems" and "identify hidden
pain" without disclosing your intentions, which are to *persuade*
a prospect that your product or service will alleviate their newly
discovered Pain. Furthermore, it is a very difficult and
ineffective way to sell.
There is no probing for hidden needs in High Probability Selling.
We won't even give prospects an appointment if they merely know
what their needs are, and are "really interested" in meeting with
us. In High Probability Selling, we distinguish between Want and
A small portion of the universe of businesses and/or people will
need our product/service in the relatively near future. Those
that want our product/service- right now- are High Probability
Prospects. We will schedule appointments with them now.
Those who will want our product in the future are part of the viable prospect universe. Many of them will become High Probability Prospects in their own time, for their own reasons. The essential difference between Consultative Selling and High Probability Selling is that we don't attempt to persuade, convince, or manipulate those prospects into Wanting. Selling that way almost always results in low closing averages. Although many may need what we're selling, most will not buy until they decide they Want It Now. It's not just semantics- a prospect either wants what we're selling, or they don't.
Another distinction between High Probability Selling and
"consultative selling'" is Total Disclosure. In HPS, honesty and
transparency are core tenets of the sales process. We trust
and respect prospects, and require that prospects treat us with
trust and respect as well. Practically speaking, we divulge the
detriments as well as the benefits of our product/service. In turn,
prospects must fully disclose their Wants, or requirements for
doing business. At each step of the sales process, the prospect
explicitly states their conditions for doing business, and agrees
to purchase, if we can meet their requirements.
Ironically, salespeople who implement High Probability Selling
usually act as advisors. Like a trusted advisor, High Probability
salespeople practice total disclosure, divulging both the strengths
and weaknesses of their offerings. Because we never pressure
prospects into becoming buying customers, the selling process
is relatively stress-free, as dealing with a trusted consultant should be.
What kind of salesperson are you? If you're still pressuring and
manipulating, this is probably reflected in your low closing rate.
You may be playing the same old sales game while dressing
yourself up as a Consultant. Maybe it's time for you to get real
about who you are and what you do.
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