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Sandler Training | Milton, ON
 

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Sandler Brief

Think about the last time a complete stranger called you on the telephone or walked into your place of business and started selling their product or service.

How did that make you feel?

Have you ever gone out shopping for something and run into a salesperson who was a little too eager to show you exactly what you were looking for?

Jack, a new sales hire, was having lots of problems in initial meetings with his prospective buyers. Vera, his manager, sat in on a sales call with him to determine why Jack was closing so few of his prospects in what was supposed to be a one-call close, and why he was discounting so heavily whenever he did close a deal. The answer, she saw, lay in the way Jack conducted his sales interviews.

Carlos was in a great mood. Forty minutes in, the meeting with his top prospect’s senior staff was going great. He was getting nothing but engagement, smiles, and positive body language from everyone around the table, including the CEO of the company. He knew what that meant. He was about to close his first big deal! The timing couldn’t have been better. Because this was a potentially major account, Carlos' manager Charlene was in attendance. Today, she would get to see him work his magic first hand.

Once upon a time, there was a young kid who graduated from high school, took a look at the help wanted ads, went out on a couple of interviews, and, within just a few days, landed his very first job. He was hired as a salesperson by one of those big box stores.

One of Sandler’s critical selling rules – “Don’t spill your candy in the lobby” – can sound a little confusing to someone who is unfamiliar with the Sandler Selling System® methodology. What does a spilled box of candy have to do with a sales call? Everything.

Tom’s best customer, Meg, called and asked for a favor: “Can you talk to my new assistant Karen about getting up to speed with your software? She’s got a couple of questions that I don’t have time to answer.”

One of the distinguishing characteristics of top performers in sales is the ability to avoid two common, self-imposed mental handicaps: reachback and afterburn.

Jack, a salesperson, was having some challenges. Feedback from multiple sources -- his own clients, prospects, customers, and colleagues -- suggested that his communication skills needed some work.

If you lose a big sale, have a bad month, or don’t make quota, what is your typical first response?

Vincent’s closing numbers were not what he had been hoping for. He asked his manager, Lynnette, what she thought the problem might be. After a little role-playing, Lynnette suggested that Vincent was spending too much time selling “from inside a box.”

Stan was frustrated. He kept getting “shot down on price” during discussions with prospective buyers. He knew he was supposed to talk directly about money issues before making a presentation . . . but somehow he never seemed to iron out the details in a way that gave him a clear sense of whether the buyer felt his pricing was acceptable.

Marina was having some problems with the opening phases of her sales process. Her early discussions with prospects were rarely productive. She sat down with Fred, her manager, and did some role-playing in the hope of improving her interviewing technique. During the role-play session, Fred shared a strategy Marina hadn't heard of. He called it “stripping line.”

Diane, a recent sales hire, got an email from her manager, Luis, suggesting that he accompany her on an initial sales call with a prospect – and then debrief with her on what he’d observed. Diane replied that she thought that was a great idea.

Eliza, a new sales hire, had posted an abysmally low closing ratio in her first 60 days on the job. She was spending most of her time with prospects who ended up picking her brain for advice and information . . . and then disappearing. Frank, her manager, asked her during a coaching session why she thought that was happening.

Anne is a partner in a small consulting firm. During a recent meeting with a key prospect, a senior decision maker at a Fortune 1000 firm, she handled the presentation. Juan, her mentor and coach (and the founder of the practice) watched and took notes. After the presentation – which ended inconclusively– Juan and Anne did a “parking lot debrief” about what went well and what could have been improved upon during the meeting. As part of that debrief, Juan mentioned that he felt Anne had done a great job of establishing rapport early on, and also of setting a clear agenda for the meeting. Then Juan asked:

“Is there any part of the meeting you would do differently, if you had to do it all over again?”