Most of David Sandler’s famous rules for selling are fairly easy to get your head around, once you understand the basic idea they are built on. But there is one Sandler Selling Rule that makes a lot of salespeople uncomfortable. It may be the hardest selling rule of all for sales professionals to accept and implement . . . for the simple reason that it is designed to shake us up a little. It reads as follows: There are no bad prospects, only bad salespeople.
What does that mean?
It means that when you take on the job of being a professional salesperson, you accept personal responsibility for what happens in your world. When you don't make a sale, or when you go 0-for-10 in your efforts to set up a first meeting, or discount the price in order to get a deal, it may be tempting to look for an excuse that justifies what happened as being “not my fault.” You may feel like saying, “What could I do? I ran into a bad prospect!” Or: “This buyer was so tough -- of course I had to discount.” Or even: “I had a streak of bad luck.”
But if you’re a true professional, you won’t hide behind excuses. You won’t waste any time rationalizing what happened. You won’t kid yourself. You won’t try to convince yourself, or anyone else, that the personality of the buyer cost you that deal; or that you didn’t hit your prospecting target because of the economy, or the time of day, or a run of bad luck; or that you really saved the day by offering to cut the price. If you’re a true professional, you will step back, take a look at this rule, and realize what it is really saying.
The message of this selling rule is simple: Take ownership of what is going on in your world.
Don't blame the prospect. Don’t blame the time of day. Don’t blame the economy. Don’t blame your boss or your coworkers. Don't blame your product or service. Don’t blame a streak of bad luck.
It is down to you and you alone. You are a sales professional. That means your choices and your decisions are what matters at the end of the day. If they are unwilling and unable to buy, move on. Don't externalize your loss.
That’s the simple, powerful truth behind this in-your-face selling rule from David Sandler. Once you realize that it really is all down to you, once you take full ownership of what is going on in your world, you will grow as a salesperson, grow as a person . . . and close more business.
Every year, businesses lose billions of dollars in sales due to poor customer service and inefficient account management. Discover how the most successful companies are managing the relationships with their most important accounts.
Get Our Newsletters