Skip to main content
Sandler Training in Calgary | Calgary, AB
 

This website uses cookies to offer you a better browsing experience.
You can learn more by clicking here.

Sandler

Our number one competitor in sales is us. David Sandler said, “most salespeople beat themselves up between their ears.” The starting point for a successful day, week, month, quarter or year is our mindset. Below are a curated set of five mindsets our clients leverage to create consistent success.

As we head toward the end of the calendar year our focus shifts to goal setting for the following year and meeting people that we don’t see very often whether those meetings are at networking events (virtual or in-person) or at family gatherings.

As a sales leader one of the best ways we can support our team members is to give them tools for reducing friction in their sales cycle. A powerful tool to share with our team is proactive roadblock identification early in an interaction with a prospect or client.

Creating a consistent, repeatable, scalable sales function means we need all of our salespeople to interact consistently with prospects and clients.

Odds are you have never heard of Jennifer Crow – but you should definitely know her story. She’s a Sandler practitioner like no other.

 

We’ve forever been steeped in a “hunter / farmer” mindset when it comes to building our sales teams. Even the Sales Development Representative/Account Executive/Account Manager model (with Pre-Sales Engineering, Implementation and/or Customer Care mixed in) follows this mindset with additional bodies taking certain parts of the “hunter” or “farmer” role.

Sometimes when we’re qualifying, we hear an “I don’t know” (IDK) response to a question we need to get answered to determine if the prospect we’re talking to is ideal.

David Sandler said, “our emotional attachment to an opportunity increases exponentially the longer it’s in our funnel.” This emotional attachment can send our sale sideways, especially if new people enter the process when we’re close to the finish line.

To support a consistently full funnel one mindset to take is thinking of our clients as prospects. By shifting our mindset that way we create two primary payoffs.

Our clients are smart people who sometime, like us, make bad decisions. They could be using bad data, misinterpreting good data to fit their hypothesis or relying on a heuristic for a mental short cut.

There are 15 common obstacles to overcome when transitioning to a rapid growth culture.

Percentages in sales funnels suck.

They are typically meaningless, and they create problems up and down the sales function from front line salespeople who over/under estimate their true chance of closing the deals in their funnel to the sales leaders who are held accountable to guesstimates entered by their salespeople.

Sandler CEO, Dave Mattson once said at the Sandler Summit, “if I was told I could only do one activity with my salespeople for the rest of my career as a sales manager it would be pre-call planning.”

The craving for human-to-human interaction in the same physical space is becoming louder and louder, especially as more of us get vaccinated and lockdown measures start (and stop) to ease.

When we feel another person in our life – prospect, client, vendor, team member, spouse, child, etc.- is offside we have a tendency to avoid addressing their behavior in the moment, which often erupts later, or we hammer them with a message to correct the behavior we believe is offside.

There’s been a lot of discussion in recent months about exactly what the road to recovery looks like, doesn’t look like, or should look like. And there are a multitude of competing opinions on this subject.

 

At some point when we are learning a new skill, we will hit a (metaphorical) wall. Our performance will dip, to use Seth Godin’s term, and we’ll become frustrated with what we perceive as a lack of performance. My Muay Thai coach recently referred to it, to me, as “your ego getting in the way,” which is another way of saying I was standing on my own toe.

Just as it doesn’t matter what we say, it matters what our prospect hears, how we listen to our prospect while determine whether we succeed in getting paid on the information we gather instead of going into knowing mode and presuming a sale when none may exist.

Our prospects are smart. They are also (for now) human so sometimes they forget to check a box in their selection process or they fall victim to a heuristic. This is a great opportunity for us to break rapport or elevate ourselves closer to “trusted adviser” status by asking a presumptive question.

In a training session several years ago, I wanted to demonstrate the power of language to our clients so I role played with one of our kindest, gentlest clients.

You probably know someone who has set goals for next year or will do between now and when the calendar turns over. History tells us that most of those goals will turn into mirages before lunchtime on January 3.

In elementary school we were continually reminded of the three Rs – reading, ’riting and ’rithmetic. Let’s update those for leaders seeking success to reporting, rhythm and relevant.

To achieve our corporate goals, we need to get the best people on our team then get the best out of them. With many demands on our time it can be challenging to figure out where best to invest our time with each one of our direct reports.

A leader’s most valuable asset is their time. The biggest stroke a leader can give to one of their direct repots is investing time with them. Both go sideways when we attempt to “boil the ocean” in a coaching session.

We’re heading into holiday season. Whether we’re celebrating Diwali, Christmas, Hanukah, Kwanza, Thanksgiving or the myriad other holidays celebrated around the world between now and January 1 we will be consuming a lot of calories in the next little while (also a great double entendre as we will soon see).

At some point in a quarter, or at least a year, the proactive prospecting activities that have worked to fill our funnel stop working. No matter the type, prospect or talk tracks the activities that were working last week aren’t this week and might not for weeks to come.

Humans are either open or close minded to any suggestion. Once the mind is closed its nigh impossible to open it back up again until that person wants to re-open their mind.

No one really wants to talk to a salesperson. I have never said to either of my children “I hope you become a salesperson.” I have said “entrepreneur,” which is code for salesperson, but they’ll figure that out later.

In part 1, we covered two major crimes salespeople make on prospecting calls that significantly reduce their chances of having a conversation with their prospect much less booking an appointment. In part 2 we’ll cover several misdemeanors that tend to build on each other and can create as much damage to having a successful call as the crimes covered in part 1.

Salespeople commit a lot of crimes on prospecting calls, which put them in a disadvantageous position to even having a conversation with their prospect much less booking an appointment.

When we’re attempting to have a conversation with someone, professionally or personally, who doesn’t appear to be paying attention we want to call them out. That’s not a great way to maintain rapport with a prospect or client.

When our salespeople are proactively prospecting their activities fall somewhere in the “effective/comfortable” matrix.

This year, to celebrate the 10th anniversary of the book, Dave will revisit each of the original 49 Sandler Rules and give updated takes on their relevance to salespeople and sales leaders.

 

Like having the occasional slice of cake doesn’t appear to be doing any us any harm occasionally skipping our daily and weekly prospecting or account management activities doesn’t appear to be doing any harm towards creating full funnel freedom. That’s because we don’t have a visual reminder of the cost of our task avoidance.

This year, to celebrate the 10th anniversary of the book, Dave will revisit each of the original 49 Sandler Rules and give updated takes on their relevance to salespeople and sales leaders.

 

Like most clichés, “it’s easier to sell to someone who’s already buying from you,” contains a grain of truth. Yet, account management also know, as “farming,” is typically a passive activity.

Our prospects (un)intentionally say or do things to put pressure on us and push us into their system for buying, which turns us into a commodity (whether we’re literally a commodity or not).

David Sandler said, “it typically takes three or more questions to get to the truth,” which was the basis for his “rule of three plus.”

Prospects who play “close to the vest” can be incredibly frustrating. No matter how we frame our questions they respond with “sure,” “I don’t know,” or “tell me more and I’ll tell you if I like it.”

During crisis it’s tempting for us to agree to meet with anyone who passes the “fog a mirror” test, especially if it’s an inbound lead.

As David Sandler said, “it’s okay to want the business, but it’s not okay to need the business.” When our prospect sense that we are needy or desperate they are firmly in control of the sales process and will get us to say or do things that aren’t in our best interest (like do free consulting or discount for no reason).

Most salespeople are having fewer prospect interactions even if they’ve increased their overall proactive prospecting efforts. While they are earning compound interest, to quote David Sandler’s rule, they are also having more opportunities to go offside when they do have a real business conversation with a prospect.

There's a lot of talk about "times of unprecedented change," which is true. Unfortunately for leaders people don't change, they transition.

At some point during our week, we will face doing an activity that we’d rather avoid. Could be making a prospecting call, doing a performance review, having a conversation with a difficult client or role playing.

We learned a lot from each other at this year’s event. Here are my three big takeaways from the 2020 Sandler Annual Sales & Leadership Summit.

Our brain is an energy pig. It uses mental tricks, called “heuristics” (aka “biases”) to conserve energy. When we are in a rapidly changing environment these heuristics can create powerful stories (e.g. “don’t call your clients because they’ll want to cancel”) that stop us from doing the proactive activities that brought us success in the past.

To maintain control of our sales process there is great power in accepting what our prospect says. There is also great power in ignoring certain things our prospect says.

By accepting what our prospect says we pull them closer to us and lower their walls so we can, as professional salespeople, gather the information we need to determine if this prospect is qualified to be our client.

Many of you reading this article right now have a team (or teams) of people that report to you in some form or another. As you think about those people, your time spent leading them, managing them, coaching them, developing them, working with them, and yes… all of the other things you have to do as part of your roles or responsibilities, it doesn’t leave much time to add on a thorough accountability process to that list… or does it?

 

Professional salespeople approach prospects and clients from a position of Equal Business Stature; however, if our sales funnel looks slim or we are emotionally attached to a particular client we can fall into an “oh shit” spiral when our client approaches us from a less than positive position.

David Mattson, President and CEO of Sandler Training and 6-time Author, talks about his Wall Street Journal and BusinessWeek best-selling book, The Sandler Rules: 49 Timeless Selling Principles and How to Apply Them.

 

Professional salespeople use a selling system to work a repeatable sale process and are accountable to checking all of the boxes in their process to qualify their prospect before doing a proposal or a presentation.

Getting ghosted by a prospect happens. It happens less often if we are focused on qualifying instead of closing and on our prospect instead of on how awesome we are.

Tom’s best customer, Meg, called and asked for a favor: “Can you talk to my new assistant Karen about getting up to speed with your software? She’s got a couple of questions I don’t have time to answer.”

There are only three resources we need to be successful in sales. They aren’t good brochures, better prices, the “gift of gab” or any of the other myths and lies made up about and by salespeople.

Animals are wired to move toward pleasure and away from pain. Where we can go sideways when qualifying is not uncovering if the pain our prospect feels or gain they seek to realize is enough for them to take action.

Thanks for sitting down with me, Salesperson.

You’re welcome, Manager. The meeting invite said, “coaching on decision timeline.” What did you mean?

Glad you asked, Salesperson. Over the past three weeks I made a note on the Henderson opportunity, the Smidgen opportunity and the Olafsen opportunity you were moving to a proposal without understanding each prospect’s deadline for implementation, which is a crucial part of our qualification processv. In my experience one time is a coincidence, twice is a pattern and three times is a habit. Habits are easy to break when they’re just forming so I thought to call this meeting to support you in your development. Are you comfortable with that?”

Winners make choices and take action to implement those choices. We’ve been socialized in North America to believe that “action” equals a massive expulsion of energy, which can be paralyzing when making a choice then choosing what action take.

What to do when an employee comes to you with a "solution" that isn't feasible?

Maybe you've never had that experience or the experience of attempting to use logical, rational counterpoints to help your employee realize that their solution won't work in its current form and the conflict that arises from that attempt.

“Thanks for inviting me in today, Prospect. On the phone we set aside 30 minutes for our visit today. Do you still have 30 minutes?”

“Yes, Salesperson. I’ve only got 30 minutes. Look, we’re currently using Your Competitor. Do you have a price sheet I could see that I could refer to if I ever wanted to buy from you?”

Even if your team has a funnel full of real opportunities and they’re focused on their three weekly dials they will still end up with loose ends at the edges of their funnel that can feed their Hopium addiction.

This happens because (for now) we’re still selling to humans. Your salespeople may follow your sales process and selling system to the letter and still their prospects will ghost them.

Pizza’s pretty much on the “transactional” end of the sales spectrum, but a pizza order taker becomes a pizza sales professional by asking questions.

A pizza order taker might respond to “I’d like to get a couple of pizzas for delivery” with “sure, we’ve got Daily Special A and lots of people like our House Special. I need your credit card then I’ll confirm your address.” A rote transaction that’s really all about the order taker checking boxes instead of understanding their prospect.

The hardest four inches to move in our life is from our brain to our mouth. This is especially true for salespeople when they engage with a prospect if they aren’t role playing regularly.

Without consistent, regular practice (role play) salespeople will end up getting one of the three Fs of bad sales conversations.

 

In creating full funnel freedom for your organization you defined your ideal prospect profiles. What that exercise doesn’t account for is the ideal sale for your organization.

Your ideal sale (not your average sale) is the deal size and sales cycle that is ideal for your salespeople to close to achieve their target and your company target for the year.

Similar to how “natural” athletes will succeed, and occasionally excel, in their sport for a while “natural” salespeople will succeed… for a while. Then they have a choice. Continue relying on their “natural” sales skills and succeeding by default or succeed by design by taking those natural skills and making them intentional by practicing, preparing and debriefing.

“Success equals freedom” is a phrase that was thrown around a lot by my managers early in my sales career. One day a colleague said to our Sales Manager in a group meeting, “that’s demotivating for me. If I’m not hitting my targets, I feel like I’m in jail.”

Salespeople seeking to appear “confident” in front of their prospects typically fall back on spouting features-and-benefits or defending their product or policies.

This year, on Fridays, Dave talks about the attitude, behavior, and techniques of successful sales managers as he shares his thoughts on the 49 Sandler Rules for Sales Leaders.

Listen Time: 13 Minutes

Typically, sales funnels opt for opacity over clarity and salespeople forge ahead with gut feelings instead of focus. And it works. For a little while. Then panic sets in, whether prompted by a time of year or the funnel turning into a pencil.

Jane, a new sales hire, was settling into her workspace on Friday morning, all ready to celebrate the first quarter in which she’d been able to exceed her revenue target … when she got a voicemail message that made her stomach churn.

Diane, a recent sales hire, got an email from her manager, Luis, suggesting that he accompany her on an initial sales call with a prospect – and then debrief with her on what he’d observed. Diane replied that she thought that was a great idea.

Eliza, a new sales hire, had posted an abysmally low closing ratio in her first 60 days on the job. She was spending most of her time with prospects who ended up picking her brain for advice and information … and then disappearing. Frank, her manager, asked her during a coaching session why she thought that was happening.

Ryan, a salesperson in his mid-fifties, had hit a performance plateau. His commissions had been flat for the past six months, and he had narrowly missed quota in each of those months. He scheduled a meeting with his manager, Jeannine, to see if, working together, they could identify any steps that would turn this pattern around.

During one of their coaching sessions, Jason asked his manager Ellen if she could think of one area he could work on over the next 30 days that would result in a dramatic and rapid improvement of his closing numbers. He was surprised at how quickly she answered.

Brian, an inside sales rep, spent too much of his time chasing deals that ended up going nowhere. He knew it; his sales manager Francine knew it. Late one Friday afternoon, Francine asked him to give some thought to the matter, and to come up with some ideas about why this was a problem for him.

Mike’s list of “active” prospects was always long and detailed, and he was sure everyone knew this during his team’s sales meetings. But when his manager Jacqueline did a little digging, she was surprised to learn how few of Mike’s “active” prospects matched up with the ideal sales cycle. Some were taking twice two or three times as long to reach a decision as the prospects of other salespeople on the team.

Of the many daunting challenges that sales teams face in selling into complex enterprise accounts, one of the most frustrating is that of long, drawn-out sales cycles. Months can pass, even years, while pursuing a major opportunity with an enterprise account, an opportunity that may or may not be won. As that precious time passes, the doubt, the uncertainties, the risks and the costs all increase. How can selling organizations overcome this challenge?

Welcome to Selling the Sandler Way, with your host Dave Mattson, the president and CEO of Sandler Training. He is a five-time bestselling author, speaker, trainer, and consultant to hundreds of international organizations. In this show, he talks to other Sandler trainers about the Sandler selling system.

Eileen, a brand-new sales hire, found herself struggling during her first week on the job. At her initial coaching session with Juan, her supervisor, she asked for some guidance on identifying promising lead sources. Instead of making suggestions about that, though, Juan decided to begin the process by asking a few basic questions.

Welcome to Selling the Sandler Way, with your host Dave Mattson, the president and CEO of Sandler Training. He is a five-time bestselling author, speaker, trainer, and consultant to hundreds of international organizations. In this show, he talks to other Sandler trainers about the Sandler selling system.

Make sure your people understand roles and responsibilities. Miscommunication and keeping people in the dark is probably one of the ongoing challenges for any leader. When you have projects, let's assume that project is going to do something very important for your organization and you've got the right people on the project. 

Welcome to Selling the Sandler Way, with your host Dave Mattson, the president and CEO of Sandler Training. He is a five-time bestselling author, speaker, trainer, and consultant to hundreds of international organizations. In this show, he talks to other Sandler trainers about the Sandler selling system.

Welcome to Selling the Sandler Way, with your host Dave Mattson, the president and CEO of Sandler Training. He is a five-time bestselling author, speaker, trainer, and consultant to hundreds of international organizations. In this show, he talks to other Sandler trainers about the Sandler selling system.

Have you ever wondered, “What am I doing wrong?” or, “How can I take my practice to the next level?” If you have, you’re not alone, and you’re in luck. Our newest book release, Asking Questions The Sandler Wayanswers both of those quandaries and reveals so much more. In the book, Sandler trainer and author, Antonio Garrido, outlines how he revitalized his practice by changing his approach. Below we have identified a few key takeaways from the book.  

Tim, a new sales hire, was having trouble setting appointments. Miguel, his sales manager, wanted to know why.

In this episode of Selling the Sandler Way, Dave Mattson, the President and CEO of Sandler Training explores the Sandler Selling Philosophies behind the Sandler Selling System with Michael Norton, EVP of Global Accounts at Sandler Trainer.

Mark’s sales manager, Irene, asked him to forecast the number of sales he would close over the coming month. Mark came up with his best guess. Unfortunately, Irene didn’t find his best guess very helpful. As it happened, the new monthly forecast was identical to Mark’s previous month’s “best guess” – a figure he had failed to come close to reaching.

In this episode of Selling the Sandler Way, Dave Mattson, the President and CEO of Sandler Training explores the Sandler Selling Philosophies behind the Sandler Selling System with Paul Lanigan, a Sandler Trainer.

In this episode of Selling the Sandler Way, Dave Mattson, the President and CEO of Sandler training explores the Sandler Selling Philosophies behind the Sandler Selling System with Roger Wentworth, a Sandler Trainer.

We are proud to introduce a new Sandler podcast, Selling the Sandler Way with host Dave Mattson, the  President and CEO of Sandler Training. He is a five-time bestselling author, speaker, trainer, and consultant to hundreds of international organizations. In this show, he talks to other Sandler trainers about the Sandler Selling System. Listen to episode one in which Dave discusses the psychology behind the sale with Sandler Trainer, Pat Heidrich.

This year's theme is Vision Driven Success. It is two days packed with non-stop training on sales, management or enterprise-level selling. Each trainer will bring real-world tactics, strategies, and ground-level tools that you can immediately implement in your business. 

Ken’s closing ratio had been the lowest on the team for four months running. Juanita, his manager, asked him to meet with her privately so they could figure out, together, what the possible obstacles to better performance might be.

Betty’s quarterly numbers were low. Her manager, Milt, asked her to do some role-plays so they could identify potential areas for improvement. They spent about 20 minutes role-playing through various scenarios – at which point Milt called a time-out and asked, “Betty, do you realize you’re positioning us in exactly the same way with every person to whom you speak?”
Betty looked at her boss quizzically and asked: “Is that a bad thing?”
Milt gave a little smile and said, “It could be.”

Melody was feeling unmotivated.
Carlos, her sales manager, was pressuring her once again to improve her closing ratio … but as usual, he wasn’t giving her much guidance on how she should go about accomplishing this goal. Yes–her numbers were bad. Melody knew that. But after three months on the job, she was tired of being lectured about the numbers and didn’t feel supported in her efforts to turn things around. In fact, she wasn’t even sure she wanted to continue in sales.

At Sandler Training, we believe in not solely talking about features and benefits during your sales call, but rather focusing on the prospect’s needs. However, there is a time for presenting, once you have qualified the opportunity. Once a prospect is fully qualified in Pain, Budget, and Decision, then it is time for you to make the presentation, and you want to make that presentation as persuasive as possible.

Do you think it would be possible to actually sell more and sell more easily? Could you actually spend less time, money and energy on business development and enjoy more revenue and profit? When you stop trying to sell to everyone, you can actually invest time and effort to build real ideal client relationships with qualified prospects. You can work smarter instead of harder.

When David Sandler created the Sandler Selling System he was looking to help guide salespeople to sales success. His techniques are effective and timeless – and since 1967 salespeople have been referring to them. If you've been Sandler trained, then you've probably also connected with a certain Sandler Rule. Each of the Sandler Rules provide helpful insight and guidance related to business and sales that help professionals navigate a meeting, adjust their outlook or test techniques that lead to profitable returns

The 2014 Sandler Client Summit was another huge success, especially on social media. Attendees were quick to post insights learned from the speakers, share photos, retweet, favorite, "like" and expand their current list of LinkedIn connections through new contacts made at the #SandlerSummit. 

Going against the grain, Sandler Training switched up the agenda from previous years and started Day 2 with separate breakout sessions for clients and trainers. And despite the packed agenda from Day 1 and continued fun out on the town, the energy was palpable early Friday morning.

Eager to learn and ready to network, clients and trainers attending the 2014 Sandler Summit were blown away by the sales training insights, tips, stats and best practices shared throughout the sessions. Read to see a few of our favorite moments... 

Dave kicked off the Sandler Summit, bright and early, to an eager crowd waiting to hear what's in store for Sandler this year, ranging from enhanced sales training programs to book launches. He quizzed the group on sales statistics, shared tips to improve behaviors, told stories about how his attitudes about motivation were formed and then focused on techniques and tactics. Here are a few highlights from Sandler's top leader's opening remarks: •Three things you need to do today to become a "Behaviorist": clarity, frequency and consistency

A few years ago Sandler Training made the decision to host an annual event that brings together trainers and clients from around the world for two days of intensive training. With high-energy keynote speakers, wisdom from Sandler leaders and the option to attend breakout sessions of your choice, the 2014 Sandler Client Summit is looking to be another successful and insightful professional getaway.

This is the time of year that a lot of people start talking about setting goals. In reality, goal-setting and goal evaluation should be an ongoing process, a process that takes place all year long. But it is true that the end of one year and the beginning of another offers a good opportunity for salespeople to take stock, evaluate what has just happened over the past twelve months, and start planning for what needs to happen next. There's more to goal-setting than just accepting quotas!

Hot off the presses...the Fall Edition of The Sandler Advisor. Click here to read. Please enjoy this newsletter excerpt, highlighting when and how to talk about money with a prospect. The Two-Minute Coach By Howard Goldstein, Sandler Corporate Today's question comes from Tracy, the owner of a graphics design company for which she does most of the selling. This is how she explains her problem

Ask most salespeople to describe the purpose of each interaction with a prospect and they'll probably say something like: "close 'em" "build the relationship" "educate them" "solve their problems" All good answers, but the real purpose of every interaction with a prospect is to get to the truth. What's uncomfortable about getting the truth in an interaction with a prospect? Ask any salesperson this question and most of the time their answer will be something like "I might not get their business!"e