This Sandler Rule is an attitude you’ll need to adopt in order to effectively execute the Sandler Selling System. That’s because Sandler trained salespeople don’t chase prospects, don’t behave desperately by agreeing to price concessions in an attempt to get a signature, and don’t allow themselves to be used for unpaid consulting. Sandler trained salespeople know when to close the file on a sale. If you can take the approach of not NEEDING a sale, you’ll be able to qualify the prospect, and not waste your time being strung along with a maybe, or, “What if you call next month, and we’ll see . . .?” You’ll be able to follow the system and determine whether the prospect meets the criteria to become your client, or whether you should end the relationship and use your time to develop hot prospects.
Networking is What You Make It
Networking may be one of the activities in your prospecting mix. The approach you take to networking determines whether it will be a passive prospecting activity, or an active one. If you attend a networking function and stand around waiting for someone to come up to you and ask what you do or what you sell, that’s passive. If, after you give your 30-second commercial, he or she says, “Hey, my company is looking for a vendor for that service,” and you hand him/her card and hope to receive a phone call the next day, that’s passive. But, if you approach people at the gathering, engage them in conversation, and give your 30-second commercial, that’s active. If you follow-up with a phone call the next day, that’s active. It doesn’t take much effort to figure out which approach will get more prospects in your pipeline, and make networking pay off.
The “If Only” Barrier to Success
You are constantly saying, “If only,” which is another form of excess baggage. The classic “if only” allows rationalization out of many situations. “If only” is a game that people fall into so they don’t have to face the reality of assuming responsibility. “If only” opens worlds of blame on external factors such as “more time,” “better boss,” “more education,” “better support,” etc. By externalizing the problem, a person may rationalize his or her problems and not assume responsibility for them. “If only” holds you back from achieving success—what are you going to do about it?
Stay Motivated, Not Frustrated
Goal setting should motivate you, not frustrate you. The best way to avoid frustration is to create a plan for achieving your goals. As you carry out each step of the plan, moving closer to your goal will serve as the motivator to success. Suppose, for example, you have a monthly earnings goal. Have you examined what it will take to reach that goal? In order to have a plan to follow, you’ll have to break down the selling process to figure out how many cold calls you will have to make, for how many appointments, for how many closes, for how much commission to meet that goal. If you know the formula you have to follow to reach your earning goal, you’ll have a plan to follow to achieve that goal. Just deciding to “work harder” with no plan can only lead to frustration. What will keep you motivated is working smarter.
Who are Your Resources?
Goal setting is important in the “Sandler world.” Goals keep you motivated, and are the catalyst for making your prospecting and selling plans. Remember that part of setting goals is recognizing the resources you need to execute your plan for achievement. Those resources are often the people—family members, colleagues, friends—who can help you along the way. For instance, in order to have the time to make the necessary number of calls to get the required number of appointments to make enough sales to get you to your sales goals, your spouse may have to take on more of the home responsibilities to free up your time. Or, you may need the expertise of a colleague on a sales call, or perhaps you want to establish a selling team. These resources can also be your support system to keep you working through your plan, and on track to accomplish your goals.
You Make the Call
Situation: When you present the cost of your business solution to a prospect, the prospect says, “That’s great, but the price is too high.” What is your response? Do you say, “Well, I’m afraid that’s our price, so I guess this is over,” or “Let me talk to my supervisor—maybe we can come down a bit,” or something else?
Action: It’s time for a reverse. The “price too high” statement doesn’t require an answer. It requires another question. Ask the prospect, “What does ‘too high’ mean?” After all, the price may not be the issue at all. The prospect may be stressed, and looking for a way to back out, not necessarily opening a negotiation. Or maybe he or she does indeed want to negotiate. Only by reversing will you be able to uncover the information you need to proceed.