Book Review: Prospect The Sandler’s Way

Book Review: Prospect the Sandler Way: A 30-Day Program for Mastering Stress-Free Lead Development

Prospecting is a very important stage of the Sales Pipeline.  It also represents its start.  The following represents advice, quotes, and general ideas from "Prospect The Sandler's Way".

  1. Outlines 30 principles of phone prospecting.
  2. Don't be a "Hasty Suitor".  Take time to nurture the relationship, and don't propose on the first date. Instead focus on getting a 2nd date.
  3. Don't be a "Nervous Suitor".  Don't try to memorize some sequence of "right words", instead focus on "core principles".
  4. Principle #1: Relax.
    1. Rejection comes with the territory, don't sweat it.  Be careful not to project "tells", subconscious negative signals we project to the other party.  That comes with self-confidence.
    2. Be Yourself.
  5. Principle #2: Take responsibility for your beliefs
    1. Beliefs ultimately determine the results.
    2. Change your actions then your beliefs will follow
  6. Principle #3: Identity vs. Role
    1. Identity is self-imagine and should always be 10 out of 10
  7. Principle #4: Clear out Your Head Trash
    1. This principle continues where the previous principle on beliefs left out.  The idea that we have beliefs that actively deter or reduce our ability to sell.
    2. We should continuously admit and search for these principles.
  8. Principle #5: Discipline Equals Freedom
    1. Set daily targets and have the discipline to stick with them.
  9. Principle #6: The buyer-seller dance
    1. Don't let the buyer lead the "dance" ( process )
    2. Have the buyer commit to your process
  10. Principle #7: Fake Rapport vs. Real Rapport
    1. Real rapport creates an environment where both parties are equals and open to discussing both their needs.
    2. Real rapport consists of trust, credibility, comport, peer-status all built from being authentic.
    3. Authenticity requires practice.  Be disarmingly honest, saw things that are true even when not in your best interest.
    4. Don't ignore the credibility gap.
    5. Active listening is critical in building rapport
  11. Principle #8: Two Pieces of the Puzzle
    1. We don't just need the first piece, "real rapport".  We need "disarmingly honest" as well.
  12. Principle #9: The Up-Front Contract
    1. An agreement, in advance, on what will happen next.
    2. You are essentially managing the prospect's expectations
    3. Announce and agree between each stage of the sales pipeline
    4. Include, what will be discussed, time needed, decisions to be made, all in that up-front contract
  13. Principle #10: The Sandler Submarine
    1. Bonding and Rapport
    2. Up-front Contracts
    3. Pain
    4. Budget
    5. Decision
    6. Fulfillment
    7. Post-Sell
  14. Principle #11: Pain
    1. Figure out the customer's pain that they'd like to most go away.
    2. "People make buying decisions emotionally, but justify them intellectually"
    3. The Pain step is the decision process where we identify the emotional triggers that are relevant to this particular buyer and show us what pain he is willing to take action to avoid.
  15. Principle #12: Budget
    1. Make sure the prospect is budget qualified.  E.g. BANT
  16. Principle #13: The Decision Step
    1. We need a clear understanding of what leads to a "yes" or a "no" in the decision step.
      1. Who do we talk to?  What's their process? How do we get to them?  What are their decision-making criteria?
    2. We have the right to clear answers because of our heavy investment.
  17. Principle #14: The fulfillment step
    1. The stage where both seller and buyer big moving forward. Aka "closing" phase.
    2. "fulfillment" of mutual needs and expectations begin to take place.
  18. Principle #15: The Post-Sell step
    1. "Before you sell anything, you are selling an appointment"
    2. Prospect will go through "objections".  Question is, will they go through them with you?
    3. Post-sell step pulls objections out into the open even if they weren't immediately offered.
    4. Your Post-sell step should establish a long-term relationship
  19. Principle #16: The Compass
    1. Practice is the key to mastering the stress-free prospecting call.
    2. Learn the submarine's compartments at an "instinctive" level.
    3. This submarine model becomes your "compass", telling you where to go next.
  20. Principle #17: The mini-submarine
    1. Apply the submarine to a phone discussion as a "mini-submarine"
    2. This mini-submarine gets us to our first appointment
    3. Research all you can on your prospect online before you make that call.  Make sure you have their persona down.
  21. Principle #18: The Contact Development Plan
    1. "Developing contacts" is different from "cold calling".  It takes research.
    2. "Call avoidance" is due to being emotionally involved.  That's not why you're calling, not for validation.
    3. If the other person doesn't say what they have to, a "script" is useless.  A plan, on the other hand, is more flexible.
    4. Don't try to outtalk the prospect.  Create rapport by giving info potentially not in your best interest. Give them control over continuing the call.
  22. Principle #19: Open The Call
    1. Present an upfront contract in the opening.
      1. "Let me tell you the reason why I'm calling and then you can decide whether it makes sense for us to continue. Fair"
    2. Continue with something personal, researched. E.g. a promotion.
  23. Principle #20: The 30-second commercial
    1. This is the heart of your prospect call.
    2. Its goal is NOT to sell, but rather to spark curiosity and engage in conversation.
    3. Parts include the introduction, pain, benefit, and hook question at the end. 
    4. You should be able to recite your commercial at will.
  24. Principle #21: No Stress ( On You )
    1. Be truly ok with yourself.
  25. Principle #22: No Stress ( On your Prospect )
    1. Mini-upfront contract, connect personally, have a smooth commercial, provide a hook, only sell an appointment.
  26. Principle #23: Generate a referral from the gatekeeper
    1. Show absolutely NO fear
    2. Gatekeeper wants to know "who's calling", "what's your company", "does their boss know what this is in regards to?".
      1. Make their lives easy
      2. Answer these questions before they ask
    3. Give orders to disrupt the typical flow.  "Could you please let Mike know, X is on the line?", etc. Ask for VM.
    4. If none of that works, treat the GK as the prospect and move on to the warm call.
  27. Principle #24: Reverses
    1. Don't try to "turnaround" objections, but rather "reverse", to deepen the conversation.
    2. Reversing is a questioning strategy that helps you avoid mind-reading.
    3. Respond to any questions or objections with more questions.  It's more important to ask why than to offer an answer.
    4. Don't move too quickly through the call
  28. Principle #25: The Pain Funnel
    1. It's important to validate the client's pain before the appointment
    2. You're looking for "pain indicator statements"
    3. These statements establish that the prospect isn't just "interested" but has an effective "need".  E.g. a mini-BANT
    4. E.g. "I'm not happy with...", "I need to do X by Y...", "I'm concerned/disappointed with...", "We should have accomplished X by Y..."
    5. Ask questions that lead the prospect to their pain statements.
      1. Keep asking pointed questions that continue to explore their pain, at a progressively deep level.
  29. Principle #26: Leave Voice Messages
    1. For prospects we've never spoken to before
      1. Keep short, don't overwhelm, 10s commercial.
      2. Use your research, speak very clearly, record/replay yourself.
      3. Use personal connection if you have any.
      4. "I promised X I'd call you", "I have a few questions about..."
    2. How to get a "disappearing act" to call you back
      1. Let them  know that you know they're busy.  Give them an excuse.
      2. Give them a way out.  "Give me a call back so I can close the file" ( i.e. close either way, won or lost )
  30. Principle #27: Generate and Use Referrals
    1. Salespeople "Save people's necks" for a living.  E.g. We are solutions providers.
    2. Paint a quick picture of the persona you're looking for.  Maybe open a discussion on their contacts that fit your personas.
  31. Principle #28: The Prospecting Plan
    1. Build a 6-month plan and start today.
    2. Use revenue, clients, appointments, leads, etc as metrics for instance.
    3. Reality check, tweak, revise, refine.
  32. Principle #29: Just Make the Calls
    1. Social media is an important part of the "warm selling"
    2. Use Social selling to warm your lead, not to replace the phone.
  33. Principle #30: Collect the Payoff
    1. Payoffs include more, better, higher-payoff prospects
    2. You are obligated to talk about the value you deliver
    3. Final thoughts
      1. Act with confidence
      2. Be proactive
      3. Focus on behaviors and habits that facilitate sales

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