7 Steps to Overcoming Sales Failure

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The Sandler Selling System™ is a direct, consultative approach to sales.  This solution based approach, nurtures an honest exchange of information which establishes trust, develops relationship and promotes sales growth.  By utilizing these seven steps in succession, sales professionals have been able to successfully manage their prospect interactions and increase sales.

Step 1:  Establish Rapport

Prospects erect a defensive “wall” when dealing with salespeople.  Establishing rapport means breaking down this wall through empathy and understanding from the prospect’s point of view.  Once achieved, the prospect will become comfortable and open to a trusting business relationship.

Step 2:  Establish an Up-Front Contract

Setting an up-front contract establishes a clear understanding between parties regarding the expectation of the sales meeting.  It identifies ground rules for behavior, sets parameters, and uncovers specific decision making steps necessary to progress sales efforts.  Without an up-front contract the meeting is without structure and purpose.  A lack of defined purpose translates into a “no-sale” event.

Step 3:  Uncover The Prospect’s “Pain.”

People buy based on emotion which is why identifying pain points is so important in the sales process.   Without identifying and addressing pain, the likelihood of a sale dramatically decreases.

Step 4:  Get The Money Issues Out On The Table.

Aside from addressing the costs related to your service, it is important to address the costs associated with the prospect maintaining status quo.  What financial impacts will your prospect experience – what are the true costs of doing nothing?

Step 5:  Discover Your Prospect’s Decision Making Process

Does he make decisions on his own?  Does he get help from an associate or spouse?  Does he think things over or can he make a decision now?  Can this prospect make the decision to spend the money to get rid of his pain?

Step 6:  Present a Solution That Will Solve Your Prospect’s Pain

A sales presentation has little to do with features and benefits.  Prospects don’t buy features and benefits…they buy to eliminate pain.  Successfully addressing the pain points identified earlier in the relationship will bring you closer to finalizing the sale.  At the conclusion of the presentation, ask the prospect to rate their interest on a scale of 0 – 10.  If they answer 5 or lower, your sale is at risk and you will need to address unanswered questions.  If the prospect’s response is 6 – 9, ask them what needs to be resolved to score a 10.  Once at 10 ask the prospect what the next step should be.  Let THEM close the sale for you.

Step 7:  Reinforce The Sale With Post-Sell Activity.

Don’t let the sale slip away once the decision is made.  Competitors don’t accept defeat so expect that they’ll do what they can to salvage the business.  Stay in front of your new customer and stay engaged.

The Sandler Selling System™ recognizes that sales are conducted on the dance floor.  For more than 30 years, Sandler has worked with sales and business leaders to “fine tune” their professional voice in the marketplace.  By applying the Sandler Sales Principles™, organizations are able to establish a solid sales structure, techniques and methodologies which increase productivity and promote revenue growth.

by Lynda C-L Allen

Sandler Training is a global training organization with over three decades of experience and proven results. Sandler provides sales and management training and consulting services for small- to medium-sized businesses (SMBs) as well as corporate training for Fortune 1000 companies.

For more information, please contact Karl Schaphorst at (402) 218-2144 or by email at kschaphorst@sandler.com.


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