Issue 3, Jan 2015 - Selling

The Buyer - Seller Dance: Do You Lead or Follow?

By Joshua Maha

When prospects and salespeople begin their selling "dance," there are always two systems at work:  the prospect's system and the salesperson's system.

In the prospect's system, the agenda is generally one of trying to gather as much information as he can while giving little, negotiating for the best possible price and terms for the goods and services the salesperson has to offer, playing his cards very close to his chest, and holding out enough hope should he need to “pick your brain” in the future. There isn't a salesperson alive who would not appreciate having the same courtesies extended to him. Unfortunately, most of the time, this is not the case.

The prospect wants to know what you know.  The problem is...he doesn't want to pay you for it. He wants to extract all you know about your product or service along with your best price in order to beat up his current supplier.    

There is a term for this phenomenon--it is called "unpaid consulting."  Understand that the prospect's system is engineered to turn YOU into an “unpaid consultant” — much more FREE CONSULTING than your company website offers. 

You must have a system that gets you on an even keel with your prospect's system. Here, in its simplest form, is the seven-step Sandler Selling System:
You must establish and maintain strong rapport with your prospect.
You must establish an up-front contract with your prospect. 
You must uncover your prospect's "Pain."  People buy emotionally - they only make decisions intellectually.
You must get all the money issues out on the table early on.
You must find out what decision-making process your prospect goes through – in detail.

Once you've uncovered Steps 1 through 5, (thoroughly), then you can move to:
You must present a solution that will get rid of your prospect's "Pain."  Of course, using this new system, your presentation has little to do with the features and benefits the Marketing Department fell in love with (even if YOU are the marketing department). 
●And finally, You must “post-sell” your customer to eliminate backouts and buyer’s remorse.

Whether you need one call or one year to ‘close’ a new customer or client, these seven steps work (if executed properly — and proper execution takes time to master).  “Prospects” from Hunt Valley to Belair Rd to Reisterstown are chomping at the bit, waiting to be called on by the non-traditional salesperson using the system described above.  Will you be that salesperson?


About the writer:
Joshua Maha is the Managing Director of the Singapore office of Sandler Training®, a leading sales and sales management training provider. He brings a wealth of real world sales and business development experience to his training engagements.You can contact him at


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