Telling stories is a great teaching tool to use in many fields, especially sales. At one of our recent workshops on pain, a participant from a technology company shared a story about an experience he had at a big-box TV store. This person went in to the store to learn more about flat screen TVs, with no intention of buying. He just wanted more information so he could make an educated decision when it came time to buy a TV, and get the best deal online, not at a store.
When our participant entered the store, he was greeted right away by a sales person, and before he knew it, the sales person was telling him all about the great features and benefits of each widescreen TV. The sales person never asked a single question about why he was visiting the store, or if he’d even been there before. The sales person was nice but never uncovered any pain. All he did was say, “Can I help you?”, and then proceeded to “spill his candy all over the lobby”, and give our participant all the ammunition he needed to go get his best deal online. The sales person never had a chance to close the deal.
Far too often, salespeople try to spill their candy in the lobby for a living. They throw information and free advice and their own time and money and resources against a wall hoping some of it will stick. “If I go to enough networking events, if I make enough new prospecting calls, if I talk about my product enough, if I ask enough people if they need this for their business, and if I make enough cold calls, then I’ll be successful.”
The numbers game is one way you can approach your career, but it requires a lot of work, and it often wastes a lot of time. On the other hand, the Sandler System is all about working smarter, not harder. Furthermore, if you combine the same tenacity and work smartly to uncover a prospect’s pain, you will become a Robo-Salesperson. Armed with new, effective questioning strategies and proven sales techniques, you will discover the prospects’ problems and deep-seated emotional needs, pains, and desires to find solutions (ones that you can provide). This will result in dramatically increasing your sales and reducing your work time and stress that goes with it.
Another participant in our Sandler Sales program sells gauges to machine shops and other companies. This guy is very meticulous and had a phone prospecting system he followed diligently, but when he left messages, very few returned his calls. Sound familiar? Well, this guy enrolled in our advanced training program and he carefully tracked all his results. Here’s what he found:
After the first year of learning the Sandler Sales System, his market of selling to machine shops experienced a 5% decline, however, his personal sales went up 28.6%. Since he worked on a straight commission, his personal income went up an equal amount. So, his income went from $93,000 up to $119,598. Our sales guy attributed this to learning how to leave an effective voicemail message, encouraging his prospects to call back, and it worked. After his second year in the Sandler course, his sales went up another 32.3% and his income increased to $158,228. Why? He became more effective at closing deals. In the first two years in the training program, he had boosted his commissions by 70%. The bottom line, none of his success would have happened without learning to uncover his prospects’ pain.
By the way, if you’re one of those people who believe “you can’t teach on old dog new tricks,” check this out. This guy wasn’t a kid. He was about 50 years old when he started learning the Sandler way, and still made those drastic improvements. I’m happy to say that 14 years later, he continues to attend and take advantage of our President’s Club classes. This sales leader is committed to being at the forefront of his industry’s selling knowledge curve and providing for his family, himself, and his own retirement.