I wanted to preface this article by pointing out that I hate sales. I can’t stand selling and I can’t stand be sold to.
A few months ago I was lucky enough to attend a sales training presentation by Carlos Horner of Sandler Training at a meeting of the Harrogate District chapter of the FSB.
The presentation was about sales techniques and while initially I was skeptical, it was compelling and very different to anything else I’d seen.
My Sales Experience: Being Sold To
Like many, I’ve come to regard sales as something of a ‘dark art’ and my view of anyone involved in sales has been jaded by the sheer volume and constant bombardment from sales people by phone, all saying the same thing in the same way.
I get calls offering assistance with IT (we’re an IT company), offers of discounted gas bills (we’re all electrical and solar) and all manner of other nonsense. With many of these calls, you just know its a salesperson the moment you answer the phone, when pressed, they always seem to misrepresent why they are calling.
My Sales Experience: Selling
On the other side of the fence, I’ve also done plenty of sales in my time and while I enjoy providing solutions to customer problems (typical of an IT guy), I’ve never been overly fond of the whole sales process nor – it turns out – have I been that efficient.
Sandler Sales Training
After Carlos’ presentation, he followed up with me and we met to discuss the issues I had with sales and the areas I’d like to improve in. Despite my misgivings about sales in general, this seemed like a smarter and more predictable way of doing things so I signed up for ‘Sandler Foundations’, a very reasonably priced course and we went from there.
It quickly became apparent during the course that the Sandler sales training method is very practical in its execution, using proven useful tools for the various stages.
The key focus of the process is to minimize the time wasted on leads/prospects with no potential while maximising the percentage of successful sales for leads/prospects that do have potential.
The Training Sessions
The training courses are conducted with a handful of other students, I found this peer group also really useful as you suddenly realise that other business owners are experiencing the same issues as you. The topics of the sessions are clearly defined and work through a provided handbook, with the goal of developing/improving your own effective sales process and strategy.
The Coaching Sessions
Separate from the course sessions, one-to-one coaching sessions are also provided by Sandler. These are an excellent chance to get feedback on your progress as well as gain some invaluable input in to the development of your sales strategy.
I was also pleasantly surprised to discover who much guidance Carlos’ and the Sandler team were able to give me on other business areas and processes, way beyond the scope of simple ‘sales’, much of which has proven to be invaluable already.
At this stage in the review of a product or service its traditional to summarise who it would be applicable to. All I can say is that I think Sandler Training would benefit anyone who hasn’t done Sandler training, no matter how good you think you are at sales!