Since starting my Sandler journey, I’ve heard many salespeople express that they have been through sales training (via reading a book and day long seminar). When they begin training with us, they tell us the following:
• They discover there is a sales process at play with their prospects that they were completely unaware existed.
• They recognize that they have unknowingly fallen into the prospect’s process.
• They sense the lack of control, and they don’t know why.
Sound familiar? We will naturally default to the path of least resistance if we lack our own process; it’s human nature. At this point, the salesperson would move from unconscious incompetence (they don’t know what they don’t know) to conscious incompetence (they become aware of what they don’t know).
After committing to Sandler training and studying, salespeople move through the competence stages. Usually in the Mastery program, through repetition and role play, they move into the state of conscious competence (they know how to use the skill but require intentionality to execute). Through continued practice, especially practice under pressure, they find themselves owning the Sandler process and using skills like reversing and the negative reverse. At this point, it is second nature and is simply a part of their DNA, which is unconscious competence.
I’ve seen this play out with my son, Kessen. He plays soccer, and he practices his skills on a regular basis. He has one move in particular, the helicopter move (here is link to see it in action- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bM3WzW8k-8Y). It’s more difficult than it looks. He practices it, and it’s slow. I’ve encouraged him to use it in games, but when he gets the ball, he ends up dribbling or passing. He is at the point of conscious incompetence, he knows the move, but he cannot perform the move in a pressure situation. Until he practices this move at faster speeds and under pressure will he be able to move to unconscious competence; being able to do the move without having to think about it. Isn’t sales a lot like that? As sales professionals, we owe it to ourselves to up our game, practice (role play) in pressure situations, so we can utilize our skills in pressure situations, with our prospects.
As Sandler trainers, our goal is to walk beside our clients through this journey of learning and owning a sales system of their own. At the end of the day, it is only human nature to revert back to what is comfortable to us if we don’t truly own our process. It is only through repetition, continued practice, and role play that you will master the systems and techniques needed to control the sales process without being controlling. Good selling!