By Hamish Knox
Albert Einstein’s definition of insanity was, “doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results.”
That’s also the literal meaning of Sandler Rule #9, “every unsuccessful prospecting call earns compound interest.”
In sales, we take for granted that we will fail more often than we succeed. So on the surface David Sandler’s rule about unsuccessful prospecting should give us hope that the more times we fail the closer we get to a sale.
As Sandler-trained salespeople will tell you, hope is a terrible thing.
The key to Sandler Rule #9 is not in the activity of prospecting; it’s in the learning that comes from each failed prospecting attempt.
Put another way, your activities are like cash deposits in a retirement savings account and the changes you make to your prospecting activities, which result in more successful calls, are the compound interest.
Not modifying your prospecting approach, therefore, is the equivalent of hiding your money under your mattress.
Before you can change your approach; however, you have to start prospecting.
After each call (phone call or walk-in), take a moment and write down the objections you heard. Don’t come up with a response for each objection. The purpose of writing down objections is to track the most common objections you hear from your prospects.
When you hear an objection more than three times in two weeks of prospecting (check your notes), bring it up at the beginning of your next call.
For example, a common objection in any industry is, “we’re already working with someone.” So bringing up that objection up front could sound like, “Mr. Prospect, most executives I talk to tell me they’re already working with someone. Would you be okay with putting that aside for two minutes while we figure out if there’s a reason to talk further?”
By tracking the objections you hear and bringing them up at the start of your call with a prospect you will set yourself apart from your competitors and get better results from your prospecting activities.
Hamish Knox is a Sandler Trainer in Calgary, Alberta.