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Delray Beach, FL | lewis.fogel@sandler.com

Qualifying

Sandler has created a financial services vertical addressing the unique needs of financial professionals. Customized content addresses the trends and issues that arise in their industry.

Sandler is working with the Society of Financial Service Professionals (Society of FSP) to bring advisors the latest tools and information to increase success for themselves and their clients.

If you lose a sale or something goes wrong in your life, who is at fault? When you blame others, you give outside people and events control over your life. When you take personal responsibility, you put yourself in a position to fix the most important thing you can ever fix—yourself.

Discover transactional analysis, a human relations model of three ego states; Parent Child, and adult.

Too often, we box ourselves into situations when we fall into the trap of answering questions a prospect poses … and we quickly find that we have reached a premature, and usually unnecessary, dead-end in the conversation. The key to avoiding this outcome lies in recognizing that prospects rarely ask the "real" question up front. In order to understand the true intent behind the question, it is usually necessary to ask several questions. In general, it takes about three questions to uncover what’s really driving what we’re being asked.

Determine a prospect’s budget using a questioning technique called “bracketing.” By suggesting a dollar range such as between $30,000 and $45,000, you can identify what amount the prospect is willing to pay for your product or service. With a range in mind, you can continue strategic questioning to uncover the real number and what the solution is worth to the prospect.

Salespeople describe on a regular basis how they spend 5 - 20 hours a week preparing proposals for business they are hoping to get. However, most of the time their efforts are unsuccessful.

Why are we compelled to provide proposals when our gut tells us we are wasting our time? Let's explore some of the reasons we feel inclined to provide proposals.

The “stripping line” is a sales technique taken from experienced anglers. They understand that they’ll have a better chance of hooking the fish if they don’t yank the line at the first nibble. Instead, they strip some line from the reel and create slack. The fish then pulls the bait deeper in the water and, feeling more secure, swallows it—and the hook. You can use this technique to get clarity on what’s really happening in the buyer’s world. Here’s how.

Troy Elmore, Sandler trainer, shows you how to succeed with the attitudes, behaviors, and techniques needed to be more successful at dealing with the competition and selling a crowded marketplace. Get the best practices collected from around the world.

Listen Time: 21 Minutes

How many times have you thought a sale was closed only to have the prospect call you, or leave you a voicemail, text, or email message, cancelling or delaying the order? All that hard work … and at the eleventh hour the prospect backs out of the deal. Another commission killed by buyer’s remorse!

The technique of answering a question with a question, or reversing, is particularly effective in the early phases of a discussion with a prospective buyer. Keep yourself out of conversational boxes and gain a much clearer understanding of the emotional intent behind prospect’s questions.

As a salesperson, your job is to do a reality check - to go for the no. Give the prospect permission to say ‘No,’ if that’s what he wants to say. If you’re on the receiving end of ‘Play It Safe’ words, that’s probably not a great sign. Before you invest any more time in this lead, find out what’s really going on. Go for the no.

The easiest way to avoid wasting time with questionable opportunities is to be more selective about which ones you allow to enter your pipeline. A more stringent “pre-pipeline” screening step may be worth considering.

 

 

Salespeople often feel they must present complex solutions & proposals believing the perceived valued is greater or to justify to cost. Not necessarily so. Simple, well-organized, and concise solutions are easier for the prospect to connect with.

Why do salespeople cling to opportunities that drag on or become stalled? Part of the answer is culture. In many organizations, a packed pipeline is considered a sign of success—tangible evidence that the salesperson is “working.” The association may not always be accurate, but it exists nonetheless.

For some salespeople, the vagueness of their initial prospect meetings carries through to their eventual presentations. They fail to establish clear connecting links between the elements of their proposed offer and the specific aspects of the prospect’s requirements. Instead, their presentations focus too narrowly on their product or service, their company’s capabilities, and in some cases, on themselves.

If prospects don’t learn anything new by meeting with you, are you contributing any real value to the meeting? No. And, if you’re not contributing any real value to the meeting, will prospects have compelling reasons to do business with you? Again, the answer is “No.”

When you meet a new prospect, how do you position your product or service? How do you characterize its features, functions, and advantages? What motivates people to buy? The prevalent theory is that people buy to either gain pleasure…or avoid pain.

Although there’s nothing inherently wrong with making your initial contact via email or social media, your goal in the vast majority of these exchanges should be to look for a way to take the conversation offline.

Solid up-front contracts add value to relationships and improve the results of time and energy spent in the process of procuring sales and of meetings.

As a salesperson, your goal is to close the deal. However, salespeople have have “happy ears” that hear what you want to believe. Prospects have phases that will keep you hoping to close the deal when they really mean “no.”

The prospect meeting is going well. You're asking questions and taking notes. Then, a question strikes a nerve. Active listening is the process of reflecting back to the speaker the message you just heard in order to confirm or correct your understanding.

Don’t waste time, effort, and good will trying to “turnaround” an objection that may not be an objection at all. Instead, use more effective questioning to get clarity on what’s really being said.

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.

If your goal is to find more prospects, get more and better referrals, and make more commission dollars in 2016 than you did in 2015, consider upping your social selling game. Here are four quick tips that will help you to avoid some common mistakes online.

Ask salespeople to list their least favorite selling activities, and you can count on “prospecting” being at the top of the list. And, the least favorite of all prospecting activities is unquestionably making cold calls.

The key to creating an effective prospecting approach is to first understand who your ideal prospects are—the challenges they face, the outcomes they desire, and the potential roadblocks they face.

Investing time to learn about your prospect before “pitching” your product helps build rapport and trust. To engage your prospect in a meaningful conversation and facilitate the process of developing rapport, you should have prepared questions to ask.

When you apply a reversing strategy, prospects will reword or expand their question to reveal the motive behind it.

By making better decisions about which questions you answer directly and which you Reverse, you can increase the quality of the information you uncover during discussions with prospects, get behind the smokescreen and close more sales.

Before you invest your time, attention, or other resources, you must discuss exactly what the prospect wants, why they want it, and confirm the investment they are prepared to make.

The Unfront Contract is an agreement between you and the prospect about what will happen during an upcoming interaction. Everybody understands, and agrees to, the objectives of the meeting. It creates a committment from both parties.

Money issues must be addressed early in the selling process. Without this information, it is unlikely that you can present a best-fit solution. More likely, stalls and objections that revolve around price issues will develop during or after a presentation.

Sales limbo — the perpetual exile prospects call “very interesting” — for one reason and one reason alone. You didn’t qualify the prospect’s decision-making process.

Does this sound familiar to you? Prospect A says, "This looks very good. I think there's an excellent chance we'll do business." The salesperson thinks, "I've got one." Prospect B comments, "Your price is higher than we expected." The salesperson thinks, "I'll have to cut the price to close the deal." Prospect C reveals, "We were hoping for a shorter delivery time." The salesperson thinks, "I'll have to push this through as a rush order to get the sale."e