This rule is one of the cornerstones of the Sandler Selling System. The traditional approach to selling is to appeal to the intellectual side of the prospect. Selling features and benefits is the best example of this kind of selling. You think that by explaining the great features of your product and how it would benefit your prospect, you’ll have success. That’s why Sandler training is the antithesis of traditional training. Sandler-trained salespeople appeal to the emotions, and the emotional well being of the prospect, to get the sale. Emotions are a strong tool, and when you can uncover the pains that lead the prospect to buy emotionally, you have gotten well beyond any surface reasons for buying. You’ve discovered a trigger that is going to satisfy more for the prospect than just improving output or shortening delivery times. You’ve provided him or her with internal relief and satisfaction.
The Child in You
The Child ego state plays an interesting role in selling situations. Salespeople should never sell from their Child, but must appeal to the Child of the prospect to make the sale. In Transactional Analysis the Child ego state is instinct, intuition, and emotion. The Child is the “I want” part of us. As the salesperson, your interaction with the prospect is not the time to play games or seek approval, as the Child would. You should be Adult directed and rational. However, the prospect’s Child is the state you must try to reach, because as you’ve learned, people buy emotionally. “I want” is what the prospect will say when you’ve uncovered his or her real pain.
Go for the Goal
Goal setting is a job. It takes time and effort. The very act of setting goals can be threatening to some people. They don’t set goals because they are afraid they won’t fulfill them or because they don’t know how to begin the process of goal setting. Not only do these people deprive themselves of success, they lack the guidance that well thought out goals provide.
Material goals are worthwhile; however, it is the intangible ones—your core value goals, your life goals—that really drive your behavior to achieve the material goals. Intangible goals never stop evolving. Your tangible goals must be part of your life goals. Otherwise you may find yourself reaching your tangible goals and then asking yourself, “Is that all there is?”
Who is Supporting You?
As you pursue your goals, both long- and short-term, and as you work to make your selling career satisfying and successful, you will, undoubtedly, face tough times and bad days. However, if you develop a support system, that system will help you through the difficult times, as well as help you celebrate the good times. Your support group doesn’t have to be just salespeople, although they can be an important part of it. Your family, other colleagues at your company, membership in professional organizations, and fellow members of your President’s Club can all provide a way to keep your self-esteem high and your emotional well being on track. Remember, prospects are not part of your support system. Don’t look to them to get your needs met. Look for constructive input from the people in your life.
You Make the Call
Situation: You pick up a message from one of your clients who wants to renew, and beef up her service contract with your company. Another happy customer! You prepare to return the call, getting her information in front of you before you make the call. You review her level of service, so you’re ready to confirm and write the order. Is there something else you should attend to while you have her on the phone?
Action: What a great time to get a referral! When you signed the contract with this client, you got some names as part of your post-sell, but she was not inclined to give you an introduction, either on the phone or in person. Now would be a great time to ask again for the names of people she knows who may benefit from your company’s service, and further, ask her to make an introductory call. She’s not a new client anymore, she’s a fully satisfied customer, and may be ready to take the extra step on your behalf. So ask!