This is not only a Sandler Rule, it is the title of David H. Sandler’s book about his unique selling system and how it was developed. In it, Sandler said: “Learning how to sell professionally is a lot like learning how to ride a bicycle. People don’t learn to sell at a seminar, but the reinforcement training of a seminar is helpful…To conquer the art of professional selling, you need to learn a system. You need to master techniques (but not traditional sales techniques), and you need to be nurtured and supported, not for a day or two, but for months, if not years.” Sandler trainers use ongoing reinforcement to take their clients’ selling from an activity to a career.
Pain—The Great Motivator
Trying to sell someone on change is a waste of time if there is no reason for that person to make a change. The best, the only real, reason for a prospect to make a change is because he or she is experiencing pain. If you can’t uncover real pain with a prospect, getting to an emotional impact, then you’re not talking to a viable prospect, and it is time to close the file.
President’s Club—Far Beyond Lecture
When a salesperson enrolls in Sandler’s President’s Club, he or she is not enrolling in a lecture series on selling techniques. The President’s Club, both in substance and structure, offers salespeople a forum in which to share and solve their real-world challenges. Not only is the trainer a resource, but fellow PC members also become resources. Chances are, no matter what a salesperson experiences out in the field, day to day, those experiences are not unique. You’ll find that other professional salespeople have faced similar, if not the same, experiences. Using the President’s Club as an ongoing workshop environment can prove invaluable in enhancing your personal selling experiences.
The Budget Step
When establishing the prospect’s budget for your solution to his/her pain, elements other than money are very often part of the mix. A prospect may be perfectly willing to spend money on a project, but may not be as willing to provide the resources critical to make a solution work. Time for training, personnel, office space—there are many resources that may have to be committed by the prospect. When probing for information during the Budget Step, all resources necessary to the solution should be understood thoroughly by the prospect.
You Make the Call
Situation: Not much going on today—you don’t have any appointments scheduled, no coldcalls to make, and you’ve mailed all of your response post cards. There were no leads to follow-up from that talk you gave at the Rotary Club last week, and you came up empty at that business card exchange luncheon.
Action: It’s time to take a thorough look at your prospecting mix, and make the changes necessary to produce more solid leads. If one or more of your activities simply aren’t working, it’s time to eliminate them, no matter how uncomfortable you may be by making the change. If one of your activities is producing leads steadily, but not as well as another activity, then change the formula. Cut back on less productive activities, and increase the activities that have been most responsible for sending you to the bank. Your prospecting mix is a dynamic part of your selling career, and you’ve got to stay on top of the plan, fine tuning constantly to build your client base.