David Sandler had a problem…
The year was 1966. He was in outside sales and had just gone on 87 calls and gotten 87 consecutive noes. He was fed up with the traditional enthusiastic presentations and high-pressure closing tactics. They didn’t feel right, and they certainly didn’t work.
Wasting time with unqualified prospects who never bought.
Whether they didn’t need what he was selling, didn’t have the money, or couldn’t make a decision, these prospects were eating valuable selling time.
Getting used and abused by prospects fishing for unpaid consulting.
The prospects would ask a whole bunch of questions, collect prices and project scopes, and then go with someone else or fix the problem themselves.
Hearing premature noes or “I want to think it over.”
It seemed like they were always saying no too quickly and yes too slowly. That’s if they gave a decision at all, instead of just ghosting him.
He decided to take control of his career.
The Sandler Selling System
David Sandler teamed up with a clinical psychologist and designed an approach to sales that would break the traditional stereotypes of salespeople. It would focus on mutual respect, clarity, and qualifying decisions. And finally, it would take the pressure off the salesperson and the prospect, so that both parties can enjoy the process!
While other sales training teaches you how to get better at playing the sales game, The Sandler Selling System has three key stages designed to prevent those games from ever being played:
Building and sustaining the relationship.
You will learn how to take the lead in the buyer/seller dance, set clear expectations, and establish guidelines for the ultimate decision, all while establishing an open, honest relationship.
Qualifying the opportunity.
You will learn how you, the salesperson, will determine if there is a good fit with the prospect’s needs, budget, and decision-making process and timeline.
Closing the sale.
Should the prospect qualify for your solution, then you will learn how to make a no-pressure presentation, confirm the agreement, and set expectations for delivery and referrals.
If you don’t have a selling system of your own, when you are with a prospect, you will unknowingly default to the prospect’s system.
David Sandler pioneered the concept of reinforcement training.
Allow participants time to shift their attitude.
When you hear a speaker, you typically don’t get to challenge and question the expert, which means you end up throwing out parts with which you don’t agree. At Sandler, we encourage you to question our beliefs and your long-held assumptions, while coming back to the trainer with victories, impending events, and problems over time.
Develop better habits and behaviors.
We all know changing long-term habits is very difficult. If we could change permanently on a whim, we would. Long-term training allows for trial and error, failure and success. We empower participants to apply the concepts, replace non-productive habits, and build sustainable action plans which lead to sales mastery when applied consistently.
Provide opportunities for participants to practice techniques.
People learn by doing. You can’t learn to ride a bike by watching a YouTube video or hearing a professional cyclist give a compelling speech. Eventually, you are going to have to get on a bike and fall off. Most likely, you will have to fall a lot until you learn how to stay up. Learning sales or management principles are very similar. We encourage you to practices is role plays, simulations, and other low-risk situations rather than experimenting in the field.
To get to the top of the sales profession, you’ve got to practice. Find a system, and learn it. Spend enough time getting to know it, and soon you will own it. And then, even under pressure, you will deliver.
David Sandler’s third major insight was built around the training methodology. He discovered that techniques alone did not lead to success. Knowing what to do was only 1/3 of the battle. You first had to believe the technique was the right thing to do and had to use the technique in the appropriate situation.
Your perception, beliefs, and outlook about yourself, your organization, and the marketplace have a huge impact on how you sell and what you are willing to do to succeed in sales.
Your goals, plans, and actions determine you often you do the right things at the right time and place. It is a result of your discipline, vitality, and guts that determine how quickly and consistently you will succeed.
Your strategies, tactics and personal presence while executing your behaviors impact the effectiveness of those actions. It can have a dramatic effect on your overall success and affect your attitude over time.
David Sandler found that these three elements of success are linked and none of them can be eliminated.
Techniques are important, but salespeople who learn to deliver their technique with the appropriate attitude and behavior go to the bank most often.