The Sandler Selling System, developed by David Sandler in 1967, encourages salespeople to abandon the traditionally rigid sales approach where salespeople simply read through generic sales scripts and prioritize quantity over quality instead. By prioritizing a more consultative approach, sellers can more efficiently qualify leads. Rather than acting like a pushy salesperson, sellers focus on building trust throughout the qualification process. While there are various ways to accomplish this, an adaptive selling approach– which enables sellers to personalize their strategy based on each buyer’s personality and needs– is often key when building trust and developing connections.
Building trust and asking the right questions at the right time allows sellers to build better relationships with a prospect. By creating and sustaining strong relationships with prospects and adequately qualifying each opportunity, Sandler enables sellers to be advisers to potential customers resulting in a better buying experience.
This sales methodology provides a 7-step guide for sellers to follow:
Bonding and rapport building.
These 7 steps are further categorized into 3 main stages of the buying process:
Building and Sustaining Relationships
Qualifying the Opportunity
Closing the Sale
Utilizing DISC insights while navigating through the stages of the Sandler Selling System can streamline the process and maximize its effectiveness. DISC is a proven and tested personality methodology that categorizes individuals into four main personality types: D (Dominance), I (Influence), S (Steadiness), and C (Conscientiousness). By identifying someone’s personality type, the DISC framework allows sellers to better understand each buyer’s behaviors, motivations, and communication preferences. With this knowledge, sellers can adjust their own communication and opt for a more personalized approach to quickly build trust and win more deals.
Let’s take a closer look at how to use DISC throughout each stage…
Using DISC to build and sustain relationships
In this step of the Sandler sales process, sellers must establish a connection, as well as objectives and expectations, with their buyers. This step sets the tone for the rest of the sale, so strong communication and an understanding of the individual here are critical. DISC is a perfect vehicle for better understanding the behavioral nature of a prospect and can help sellers adapt their communication to fit their prospect’s personality and build trust and rapport more quickly.
By understanding a prospect’s DISC type and tailoring communication to fit their style, salespeople can more quickly build relationships that lead to an eventual sale.
Be confident and direct.
Avoid unnecessary small talk.
Show respect for their time.
Be expressive and personable.
Allow time for small talk or sharing a funny story.
Avoid pressuring them into firm commitments.
Be warm and friendly.
Encourage them to invite others into the conversation.
Avoid being too pushy or intense.
Maintain a businesslike, formal tone.
Always provide additional data and details when possible.
Respect their time by sticking to a schedule.
Using DISC to qualify the opportunity
When qualifying the opportunity, sellers must discover whether a prospect is a good fit for their product. This includes understanding a prospect’s needs, timeline, budget, and buying process. To uncover their problems and identify solutions, sellers need to ask the right questions and communicate in a way that resonates with the prospect.
DISC helps understand how a buyer is naturally motivated and how to best communicate in a way that will uncover their needs.
Be clear about your product's competitive advantage.
Ask them direct questions.
React quickly to any feedback.
Build excitement around your product and emphasize how it has helped others.
Use visual aids where possible.
Keep the conversation light-hearted.
Allow them to ask plenty of questions.
Speak about the reliability and security of your product.
Establish a personal connection before getting into finer details.
Use clear and specific language.
Prepare plenty of outside data to support your claims.
Let them know what to expect ahead of time, and allow time for them to research on their own.
Using DISC to close the sale
Once a prospect is qualified, sellers must demo their product, pitch pricing, confirm the agreement and discuss delivery logistics. There are plenty of times during this stage where things can go wrong. For example, a negotiating tactic that pushes one deal across the finish line may cause another one to blow up. While some people value direct, bottom-line discussions, others may prefer slower conversation and collaboration.
DISC can keep the process running smoothly by enabling a personalized approach through each stage of the process.
Be upfront about pricing early on.
Be prepared to handle objections confidently.
Offer them some control over product implementation.
Avoid overwhelming them with numbers and data.
Share compelling stories about other clients.
Remain optimistic about your product and its features.
Offer specific evidence of your product’s capabilities.
Emphasize any product warranties or extended service agreements.
Give them plenty of time to consider their options and void pressuring them into a decision.
Come prepared with data and resources to back up any claims.
Thoroughly address any of their concerns.
Provide them with additional information to research on their own.
The Sandler Selling methodology enables sellers to skip the games and more efficiently qualify potential customers. By building trust and acting as a consultant rather than a typical salesperson, sellers can improve conversion rates, increase deal sizes, and maintain a much cleaner pipeline.
Every prospect has their own communication style, preferences, and concerns, which means every sales interaction needs to be personalized. Crystal, the software platform for adaptive selling, uses DISC as its core framework to understand how different buyers naturally behave, communicate, and make decisions.
Try Crystal and see how our sales tool has helped elevate sales operations for leading sales organizations.