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Central Scotland | amackie@sandler.com

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Many salespeople believe that the best way to close the sale is to talk at length about their product. The problem is that most of it is irrelevant to the prospect. You can not sell anyone anything... Until they discover that they want it. 

Successful salespeople focus less on speaking and more on understanding their prospect. They aim to uncover the true meaning behind their prospect's statements. They give their prospect space to make their own decision and don't trick their prospects into buying from them. They become a trusted advisor and form a successful long-term relationship with their prospect. 

The more you listen, the easier it becomes to make a sale. Here are a few simple rules you should follow: 

Keep 70/30 rule in mind 

Don't spend the valuable time with the prospect on looking at features and benefits of your product. Use this time to lead the prospect to an understanding of how your product can solve their problems. Sandler questioning tools will help to do so. 

Remember, lists of features and benefits of the product is available on your website. Prospects, who are interested in that, can always check it there. You are not a walking brochure. 

Instead, create a list of questions to use in the development of an in-depth understanding of prospect's needs. Learn what they are looking for in their next supplier and how can you show that your businesses are a match. Use this list during your prospecting meetings and calls. 

Reverse prospect’s questions

Reversing is one of the key tools taught at Sandler, focusing on answering the prospect’s question with another question (when & where appropriate).  Most prospects have learned how to put a barrier between themselves and the salesperson. Reversing can really help salespeople cut through these defence mechanisms, clear the ‘smoke screen’ and understand what hides beneath.

Reversing can also help salespeople to differentiate themselves from their competitors and create a better bond with the prospect. A salesperson who makes the whole conversation about the prospect not about their products is bound to succeed.

Soften these reverses

Always begin a reverse with a softening statement. These include – I am glad you asked, good point or a lot of people ask that. For example, 'when can you deliver this product by' could be answered with sounds like delivery timescales may be important to you, is there a reason you asked?

Most salespeople are surprised at the answers their prospects give them. It is not uncommon for salespeople to assume the reasons for prospect’s questions, then jump into talking about what they think the prospect wants to hear. While all what they are really doing is slowly talking themselves out of the sale.

At Sandler, we believe that the success in sales is NOT determined by the amount of information you give but rather, by the information you collect.

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