The 95/95 proposition. Which 95 are you?

The 95/95 proposition. Which 95 are you?

Written By Jeffrey Gitomer

KING OF SALES, The author of seventeen best-selling books including The Sales Bible, The Little Red Book of Selling, and The Little Gold Book of Yes! Attitude. His live coaching program, Sales Mastery, is available at

The 95/95 proposition. Which 95 are you?

When a prospective customer calls you on the phone, and for some reason or another wants to buy — either they heard something good about you, or they read something about you, or they read something that you wrote, or someone referred them to you — the odds are close to 95% in your favor that you can make some sort of sale and build some sort of relationship. Not bad odds.

REASON: The prospective customer called you, seeking information in hopes of making a purchase.

BACK TO REALITY: You come into your office and you sit at your desk. Today’s the day you’re going to (have to) make 100 phone calls (cold calls) to prospective customers. The odds are that 95% of them will end up somewhere between “no” and hang up. Bad odds. And, of the other five people that displayed some form of interest, one may eventually end up buying. The problem is you will have to go through every sales gyration and your entire sales cycle to make that happen. Product offering, appointment, proposals, biddings, follow-up ad nauseam, finding the right decision maker, and other walls of selling that you have erected based on your (or your company’s) inability to be a marketplace value provider.

RECAP: You will make the sale 95% of the time when you RECEIVE an unsolicited call from a prospective customer. You will lose the sale 95% of the time when you MAKE an unsolicited call to a prospective customer. Hello!

YESTERDAY: For the past ten years (yesterday), it’s likely that your business has been winning sales by capturing low-hanging fruit and you, as a salesperson, have thought to yourself, “I’m pretty good. I made president’s club.”

TODAY: All of a sudden you get to today, and you’re looking around for fruit. It’s nowhere to be found.

And now you’re in scramble mode for several reasons:
1. You’ve built no platform.
2. You have no video testimonials to prove your value or the value of purchasing your product.
3. You have little or no reputation built in your marketplace.
4. Your product or your service is highly competitive, and it’s difficult for you to differentiate yourself from the people you hate. Your competition.
4.5 You have no value message that you send to your existing customers week after week.

TOMORROW: Which brings me to tomorrow. Or as they say at Disneyland, “Tomorrowland.” You believe in your heart when the present economic situation changes, that in “Tomorrowland” it will be way, way better, and everything will be just fine — and, of course, you will live happily ever after, making president’s club again.

You might want to take that strategy next door to “Fantasyland” and shake hands with Mickey, Minnie, and especially Goofy.

There’s an old expression that says, “If you want things to get better, you have to get better.” And if you have not prepared for this time, or tomorrow, then NOW is the time to dig in. Stronger, faster, harder, and with more determination than ever.

When sales are tough, your competitors will be coming at your existing customers with offers that appeal to their pocketbook. You have to be providing valuable service. You have to be a value partner. And you have to be a value provider. If not, you’ll either lose the account, or worse, be asked to match the price. (In the land of profit, matching a price is the same as losing.)

In order to make anything happen tomorrow, you better double your intensity today. Now is the time to invest in yourself. And now is the time to invest in your customers in order to get the 95% pendulum to swing in your direction.

Now is the time for value.

There are very few alternatives to what I’m recommending — and of those alternatives none are as valid as what I’m suggesting.

Many salespeople at this moment are somewhere between whiny and panicky. They’re worried about their jobs when they should be worried about their customer’s well being. They’re worrying about the state of the world, when they should be concentrating on the state of their customer’s loyalty.

The 95% success strategy is very simple, but it requires WORK if you want to be on the receiving end of an unsolicited call:
Become a consistent value provider.
Build your reputation impeccably.
Get your existing customers to endorse you, support you, and stay loyal to you.
Utilize the strategy employed by every great athlete: self-talk equals self-performance. Tell yourself you’re going to get the ball over the plate. Tell yourself you’re going to hit a home run. Tell yourself you’re going to return the punt for a touchdown. And picture yourself doing it.

Figure out where your value message is with respect to your customer’s perception of it, and their willingness to receive it.

And then do the one thing that 95% of salespeople will not do: Work your ass off. Today.

If you want a few strategies to get your phone to ring with prospective customers, go to, register if you’re a first-time visitor, and enter the word UNSOLICITED in the GitBit box.