In Sandler, we have identified three elements that are required for success in selling we call it B.A.T., and it stands for:
Most sales training courses focus on only one element—technique. Salespeople learn the latest techniques for cold-calling or closing a sale. Once the training is over, they might even try to implement them. The results, however, are short-lived. Not because the techniques didn’t have merit, but because they didn’t fit with the salesperson’s behavior or with the salesperson’s perception of what they could achieve. (attitude)
Technique training without behavior and attitude training may increase your sales short term, but technique training alone will not take you to the top. The problem is the technique, or “mechanical” side to selling, is relatively easy to learn, but much more difficult to put into practice. Why? Because selling is mostly conceptual, not technical or mechanical. Conceptually, you must be comfortable incorporating these techniques into your own personality.
At Sandler, we believe the true definition of success is when you are successfully able to connect Behavior (The What), Attitude (The Why) and Technique (The How).
- Ask for referrals often even when you get a no
- Practice and role play with accountability partners
- Incorporate different prospecting activities into your daily schedule
- Always Be Qualifying (and Disqualifying) in every customer interaction
- When you qualify stringently, closing is easy
- Use active listening to build rapport with relationships – new and old
- Use disarming honesty to differentiate yourself and build trust
- Probe for pain early and often
- Offer solutions vs. pitching products
- Use restraint in offering solutions. Fully uncover and understand pain first.
- Have equal business stature in all customer interactions
- See yourself as an equal in business relationships and be comfortable professionally asserting your right to have open and honest communication
- Seek to understand
- Your value as a sales professional is determined more by the amount of information you gather than by the amount of information you dispense
- Get outside your comfort zone
- Growing your business and growing professionally requires a willingness to try new things and be uncomfortable
- No is OK
- Give yourself and your customer permission to say no. Disqualifying a customer early keeps the sales funnel clean.
- Use Up-Front Contracts to establish shared goals and expectations
- Purpose – Time – Roles (Buyer & Sales) – Outcome (decisions to be made or conclusions to reach)
- Use The Pain Funnel to uncover the personal pain
- Use third-party stories to establish credibility as a trusted advisor
- Have your third-party stories prepared and practiced
- Use reversing as part of your qualification process to further understand intent
- Use nurturing softening statements with your reversals
- Anticipate common stalls and objections
- Have your talk tracks prepared and practiced
- Use Thermometer Close to gauge understanding, engagement, etc.
- On a scale of 1 to 10 how would you rate…
- Be comfortable discussing budget
Often, salespeople find themselves in a rut, unable to break through to a higher level of performance. They get complacent with current performance or associate self-esteem (attitude) with performance and if performance is not good, they act according to how they feel. There is an unconscious preference for the current situation. This is called a Status Quo Bias. It’s what keeps salespeople from improving their behaviors and performance. You don’t have to stick to the status quo. You can always improve, if you want to.
Are you really trying to become a better version of yourself? Have you adopted the right behaviors? Are you doing the right things, every day? Struggling salespeople often avoid the things that will ultimately make them successful. Example: You know you need a robust pipeline, but you won’t prospect.
Is your attitude holding you back? Do you believe consciously or subconsciously that you are not the type of person to perform at the top level? Is improvement not part of your personality? Example: You can improve your average deal size by calling on larger prospects, but you aren’t because you do not believe you belong at that level.
If you don’t have the right techniques to do things correctly, you will not have the success you crave. Example: If you are wasting time chasing prospects who can’t, or are unwilling or unable to afford your solutions, you are not properly or stringently enough qualifying your opportunities.
Behavior, Attitude and Technique are all equally important parts of the Success Triangle. Examine your sales process. Do you feel like you do the right things every day to improve your performance? Are you equipped with the right techniques to properly qualify your prospects? Are you exhibiting the right attitude and mindset of a winner?
To learn more about the Success Triangle, check out this podcast.