I read a great article on Yoest the other day about a meeting with David Sandler. Funny thing is, when I met my first Sandler trainer, his approach was almost exactly the same…
I expected him to act like every other sales person I’d ever met and start “selling” me on his services and he didn’t. One of the first sentences out of his mouth was “So, why am I here?”. It put me off. Made me nervous. Made me start blabbing…
Later, “It doesn’t sound like you need me”… Wow! By the time it was over, I felt like I was begging him to do business with me!
As I first began to be trained in the Sandler approach, of course, this seemed totally counter-intuitive. As I warmed up to the concepts, I would try to put myself in the mind set of the super-cocky sales guy. Sort of “I’m too good for you. You better convince me that I need to waste my time with you…”
The approach is called the “Take Away” by Sandler trainers. When a prospect is hesitant to commit, take it away. The prospect usually responds by try to convince you not to “take it away”. The reason is that their hesitancy was based on their expectation that you as the sales rep are going to beg them for their business. When you refuse to play that game, you change the rules and you’re in control.
Its a tough thing to pull off in the beginning. It feels uncomfortable because you’re afraid to offend. Of course, the cocky sales guy attitude worsens that risk! I always felt that I was either being too blunt or beating around the bush to much.
Experience taught me that the right approach was to adopt the posture and “attitude” of someone who really cares. Just try to help the prospect. Make it clear to your prospect that you’re there to help them, whatever that means, even if it means they don’t buy anything from you. Just try to find an opportunity to help in any way possible. If its genuine, it establishes trust and respect. Then its easy to say, “What can I do to help?” or “I’m not sure how I can help?”, etc.
Kind of cool when just doing the right thing is the right thing all around!