If Predictable Revenue is the new school of sales methods, then The Sandler Sales Methodology is old school.
In this post, we’ll be diving into the Sandler Rules–what they are, what this method of selling is, and why it’s incredibly effective.
First, what is the Sander Sales Method?
Let’s start with comparing a Sandler sales rep from a “normal” sales rep.
Typical Sales Rep = spends time focusing on getting buyer to say “yes.”
That seems pretty spot on, yes?
Sandler Sales Rep = spends time focusing on QUALIFYING buyers beforehand–so that getting a “yes” is 10x easier once closing begins.
The entire Sandler methodology is built upon a less pushy, “salesy,” aggressive process–and instead lets salespeople assume more of an advisor role, knowing that their prospects are highly capable and motivated before the calls take place.
What are the Sandler Rules?
Developed by David Sandler, a sales genius, these “rules” present an intensely intricate, yet easy to understand sales method that plays off traditional sales techniques.
The Sandler Rules is comprised of 49 rules, developed from Sandler’s sales training program. The rules often seem contradictory or even condescending, but they are sure to boost your sales productivity. Rather than describe every rule, below is a summary of some key themes in Sandler’s sales method.
Examples Sandler Rules:
Sandler Rule #7: You don’t have to like prospecting.
But you DO have to do it 😉
Sandler Rule #35: If your competition is doing it, stop doing it right away.
You should never copy your competitors. Stand out and differentiate yourselves from them.
To read all 49 rules, you’ll have to pick up the book on Amazon! We highly recommend it.
When it Comes to Sales, Clarification is Key
Too often, salespeople lose the sale because they see things differently from the prospect. Salespeople have what Sandler calls “Happy Ears,” meaning they only hear what they want to hear. Don’t make assumptions and leave things up in the air. The prospect may see something from a different point of view than you so don’t be afraid to ask what something entails or means to them.
Sandler also emphasizes at multiple points that prospects lie.
It’s not because they’re bad; it’s completely natural. For this reason, take a lot of what they say with a grain of salt, especially regarding decision-making (be sure you know who has the final say) and their problems (people don’t like to expose their vulnerabilities).
Finally, for reasons of politeness or just because human nature, prospects can be very misleading when it comes to saying “no.” When a prospect tells you that they will “think it over,” they typically mean “no.” So, make sure to get a definitive answer out of your prospect, and if they do choose to move forward, make sure to verbalize what the next step is, so all is clear.
Deal With Failure; It’s Inevitable
Getting a yes is awesome, and it feels great, but most of the time, the answer is going to be no.
If you can’t deal with this failure, you can never advance as a salesperson. The ability to deal with failure is one of the most defining characteristics of a good salesperson. Don’t blame the prospect for your inability to sell. Take responsibility for your failures and persevere. Be sure to learn from your mistakes and not repeat them and you will improve and become a better salesperson.
Let Them Do the Work
You should constantly be asking questions. Your job is too get them to tell you as much as possible so you can best understand their situation. The key is not to tell them what you can do for them, but rather to let them figure it out for themselves. So don’t spend the whole call trying to explain all the great features that your product offers. If they want that, they can visit your website or read a brochure. You however, are not a brochure and the prospect should do the talking for about 70% of the sales call.
Another Sandler Rule: Answer Every Question With a Question – If you answer directly, you could get caught in the traps hidden within the prospects’ questions.
Don’t Close, But Always Be Closing
Salespeople are often taught to ask for the close. While getting the sale closed is the ultimate goal, you shouldn’t be pushing or asking. Rather than try some cliché closing technique that may just anger the prospect, shepherd them towards the close. That doesn’t mean you assault them with their problems and tell them what you think they need. Use questions to help them realize that they would benefit from using your product.
Always remember the ultimate goal though, and that is money.
If the prospect is not cooperating, a closing technique may be necessary. If the sales cycle is taking too long, a prospect is stalling or isn’t getting anywhere, then don’t be afraid to let them go. Know when to move on. Despite what many salespeople think, there are always more prospects, so don’t waste time on the bad ones.
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