How to Succeed at Saving a Life

Mike Montague

What if Sandler Training wasn’t about sales, management or customer service? What if it wasn’t even about communication skills or learning how to succeed? What would it be about?

Could it be about changing or even saving lives?

At Sandler, we talk a lot about finding and fixing pain. Sometimes pain is physical and real, and sometimes is emotional or even imagined. But what we know for sure is that PAIN is a very strong motivating force, and most people will do anything to relieve it.

That’s why we learn questioning strategies like the Pain Funnel, a proven set of questions designed to help people realize and deal with their pain. Most of the time in sales, we uncover surface problems or business reasons, but sometimes it is personal and emotional. And that is when it is real pain.

We recommend you memorize the Pain Funnel questions because the right questions might save your life or someone else’s… This is a true story from one of our clients.

“I got a text message yesterday from my children’s mother saying she was going to end her life. I called her immediately, and she answered in tears stating that she had lost her children, lost her love, and was done with life.

My initial response without forethought was to fall back on my sales training, I asked “What do you mean, tell me more about that, please.” She responded saying her life was over. I asked, “What you mean and how long has it been that you have been feeling this way?”

She told me that ever since she had left me and the children, she had been addicted to prescription narcotics and in an abusive relationship. By this time, I am in my vehicle racing to her home. I asked her, “Since this realization, what has she tried to do to get help or leave?”

She responded saying she had tried to stop using and tried to leave her lover many times. I told her clearly this has failed to work, and she agreed. I asked her what it has cost her?

She then told me that this has cost her, her family, children, and life… With a lump in my throat I asked her what she was feeling coming to this realization.

By this time, I had arrived at her house and was going to find her. I found a beaten woman who was in the process of ending her life. At this point, I pulled my wallet out and showed her a picture of my beautiful 6-year-old son and my amazing 13-year-old daughter… and asked her, “Are you going to give up on them? And are you done fighting?”

At that point she dropped what she had in her hands and allowed me to call for help. Less than 24 hours later, she is on a plane to Colorado to a treatment center for addiction and spiritual healing.

The skills you teach far surpass sales… You teach how to meet people where they are and to get the root of issues and pain. I thank you, I fully believe without the questioning skills you have instilled in me, I would not have had the clarity to get through to her and my children’s mother may not be here.”

We hope you never need them for this reason, but we will leave you with one question. How good are your questioning skills?

The How to Succeed Podcast is a public and free podcast from Sandler, the worldwide leader in sales, management, and customer service training for individuals all the way up to Fortune 500 companies with over 250 locations around the globe.

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