Dec 20, 2022

The Ultimate Guide to Sandler Selling

Mark Fershteyn
CEO & Co-founder

Traditional sales methods don't work. Why? Because sellers use high-pressure tactics while buyers put their defenses up. Studies show that pushing for a sale actually makes customers less likely to buy. A recent survey showed that 57% of people said they would be more likely to purchase from a salesperson who didn’t pressure or hassle them when following up.

So, how can salespeople sell without being pushy? What if all buyers felt that their needs were heard? What if salespeople could stop wasting time on buyers who aren’t the right fit? What if managers could forecast their pipeline more accurately? It’s all possible with the Sandler Selling methodology. Let’s take a look. 

The Sandler Selling System Defined

The Sandler Selling System, first developed in 1967 by David Sandler, is a popular sales methodology used by thousands of companies worldwide. The Sandler Selling System is based on the idea that selling helps buyers make the right decision rather than just convincing them to buy. 

The Sandler sales method is a collaborative approach to selling. The salesperson’s goal is to understand the prospect’s pain points, budget, and decision-making process. Then, they can help the buyer find the right solution to their needs.

The Sales Methodology

The Sandler Selling System is designed to help you spend less time trying to sell to everyone and more time building relationships that enable buyers to make purchase decisions.

The Sandler Selling System consists of seven steps, divided into three stages.

3 Stages

Phase 1 - Relationship-building: bonding and rapport, up-front contract

Phase 2 - Qualification: the pain, budget, decision

Phase 3 - Closing: fulfillment, post-sell

7 Steps

1. Bonding And Rapport

Don’t make your pitch until the buyer is ready to hear it. Focus on building trust with each interaction, and you will have a better chance of closing the deal.

2. Up-Front Contract

Once you’ve developed trust, you can begin establishing the rules for your further relationship. Your aim is to create a transparent environment that fosters mutual respect and understanding.

3. Pain

The third step of the sales process is to qualify the prospect. You must find out whether or not your product or service can help them.

4. Budget

This method is the opposite of other sales methodologies, focusing on discussing pricing first instead of saving it for the end.

5. Decision

Next, you need to understand how your potential customers make decisions. If you don’t know how they’ll act, you won’t be able to position yourself or your product effectively.

6. Fulfillment

The sixth step is to ensure that you have a solution for your buyer that fits within their budget, aligns with their decision-making process, and addresses their pain points.

7. Post-sell

You can use this opportunity to address any concerns or questions that might be on the buyer’s mind. Then, you can keep the relationship going and ask for referrals.

Who Can Benefit From This Methodology Enforcement?

The Sandler sales system emphasizes qualifying buyers, so it's best suited for business-to-business (B2B) sales situations that involve a lot of high-touch selling. For complex deals with long sales cycles, sales are less about quantity and more about spending time on qualified buyers.

Benefits To Businesses

There are many ways to sell a product or service. Some companies use a pushy sales approach, while others adopt a more gentle approach. But there are benefits of sales tactics that put customer needs first. 

Customer-centric sales tactics are becoming increasingly popular as businesses realize that putting customers' needs first can lead to higher profits. The benefits of a customer-centric approach include the following:

  1. Increased sales
    — A customer-centric strategy puts customers first, so you're more likely to have a positive experience with your company and recommend it to others. The product or service also addresses buyer pain points which may lead to higher average sales.
  2. Higher retention rates
    — Successful companies treat their customers well because it helps them retain customers over the long term. When customers feel like they're being treated fairly, they're more likely to stay with you instead of switching to another company.
  3. Shorter sales cycles
    — Identifying qualified buyers early supercharges the selling process.
  4. Improved forecasting
    — Your sales pipeline is more accurate thanks to qualified customers.

The “Buyer-Seller Dance” Is Outdated

The old model of B2B sales is broken. Companies can no longer ignore the fact that their customers want to do business with a company that makes them feel valued, not just one that provides the lowest price or fastest delivery. The "buyer-seller dance" is outdated and it's time for a fresh approach to B2B sales.

In a world where buyers have power, companies need to learn how to sell value instead of just making a sale. It's important to understand that buyers are no longer looking for just the cheapest option; they are looking for the best solution. They want someone who understands their needs and will help them achieve their goals.

The “buyer-seller dance” is a familiar, predictable, and stale routine. It’s time to break out of this mold and find ways to make your sales process more innovative and effective.

The Sandler Selling System provides a proven process for gathering information to help you close more sales. This high-touch approach focuses on asking questions to qualify prospects early in the sales process.

How To Reinforce Sandler Selling With Recapped

Our team at Recapped does not provide Sandler training. We recommend you visit Sandler's website for training!

Recapped makes it easy for you and your team to integrate your favorite qualification framework—like Sandler—into your deal workflow. Using Recapped, you'll never have to create a spreadsheet and send it through email again. The platform streamlines deals, aligns stakeholders in one location, and enables perfect execution.

Schedule a quick consultation for a free trial to unlock these our Recapped template with Sandler qualifiers integrated in your sales process.

Example of our Mutual Action Plan template enforcing qualification. Request a free trial today to dive deeper!