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Sandler Sales Training - cold calls

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Jun 29, 2009 5:04 pm

Has anyone prospected by telephone or face to face contacts using the Sandler cold calling techniques? If so please share your experiences and any feelings either positive or negative on the effectiveness of this approach.

Jun 29, 2009 5:21 pm

I took their Cold Calling Bootcamp and saw a dramatic increase in the effectiveness of my calls.  I got (and still get) more appointments per session, more call backs per voice mails made, and I am able to more accurately measure whether the prospect is serious or not.  I highly recommend this class.

Jul 1, 2009 6:57 am

If you follow the following steps, you can get success…
 1.Be familiar with your company’s unique selling point.
 2.Identify the right prospects before your call.
 3.Before making the call warm up to the prospect that you are courting. Find out as much as you can about that company.

Gentlerainmarketing - Marketing ideas,Marketing strategies,lead generation,new clients
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Jul 1, 2009 1:56 pm

Seriously buddy, stop posting the link to your web site…

Jul 1, 2009 3:02 pm

I am not familiar with Sandler.  What grm002 posted does makes sense (aside from the web site issue).

Objective is to turn a cold call into a warm call.  How ?  By identifying an issue that is important to the person you are calling, and then refering to the issue in the first 30secs of the call. 

Theory- you are making a cold call- prospect does not know you, may not know your company and is probably not interested in the generic product you are pitching.  How do you overcome these issues ?

Do some research before picking up the phone.  If you are using a list that is freely available, then it is available to everyone.  If you are using a list that you put together, then it may be an exclusive list. 

Example-  your firm covers McDonalds/Target/WalMart/FedEx/Pepsico etc.   Get a copy of the research reports.  Construct a list of all of the company locations in your calling area.  Call the owner (franchise), gen manager (branch and franchise).  Id yourself and tell them you are calling about their company and ask if they want a free research report.  Offer to deliver it in person.   They work for the company- think they are interested in the stock ?

Real Estate ownership and transaction records are available on line in most counties.  Find out who owns the land that a store sits on.  Call the owner of the land and offer them a research report on the company.  Their lease is with the company- think they are interested in finding out more info about the company ?

Jul 1, 2009 3:27 pm

[quote=arizonarep]Has anyone prospected by telephone or face to face contacts using the Sandler cold calling techniques? If so please share your experiences and any feelings either positive or negative on the effectiveness of this approach.[/quote]

Very effective if you stick to it. What was your name, here, before you signed up with “arizonarep”?

Jul 1, 2009 3:32 pm

What are the sandler techniques?

Jul 1, 2009 5:17 pm

What are the sandler techniques?

  They charge you $50 to take the day-long class.  I suggest you start there.  Best $50 for my practice I've ever spent. 
Jul 1, 2009 11:17 pm

One of my referral partners owns a Sandler training location. I have implemented some of what I learned in a couple of his training sessions.

Jul 1, 2009 11:59 pm

One of my referral partners owns a Sandler training location. I have implemented some of what I learned in a couple of his training sessions.

  So, why were you asking for feedback from others?  If you're shilling for Sandler (or on behalf of your buddy), at least be honest about it and tell us.
Jul 2, 2009 12:38 am

I am honestly trying to find out if anyone else uses the training. I am the only FA that I have seen at the sessions and am not sure how well it works in financial advisory selling vs. tangible product selling.

Jul 2, 2009 2:08 am

It works.  It’s all about finding pain.  Pain is what causes people to buy regardless if you’re peddling investments or hammers.

Jul 4, 2009 3:44 am

Sandler works a lot better than the cro-magnon hard-sell manipulative crap that my firt employer taught me.  Right after I went into production (2006) I took Sandler's cold calling boot camp, the half day class, and it was worth it.  I got a good generic structure for a productive cold call.  It increased my yield off of calls.  I liked it so much that after I started making money, I attended Sandler's "President's Club" for six months to help hone the techniques and ingrain them into my approaches.  I think President's Club cost about 600/month.

From a "human" perspective, Sandler is softer than "soft sell".  To the prospect, they rarely fell like they're being sold, so they are more open to you.  From a "sales" perspective, Sandler is effective for that reason, too.  Not every technique is appropriate for FAs, but even the worst Sandler technique/script/response/whatever is better than the best thing that my old "POA" coach at MER ever taught me.  Of course that particular "coach" was caught in the Ladies Room with his assistant--but they were just "talking."   I was the only financial advisor in my Sandler classes, too.  At first I was concerned about that, but the more I prospect using Sandler techniques, the more I'm happy that there weren't other FAs there.  Oh, by the way, please stay away from Sandler--IT DOES NOT WORK!!!!
Jul 4, 2009 1:22 pm

Where can you take these classes on cold calling? I’d be interested in taking the cold calling boot camp class

Jul 4, 2009 2:57 pm

Click on the “Locate a Training Center” button at the top of the page.  Sandler has franchisees all over the place.  If there is more than one in your area, I’d suggest talking to them all to get a feel for who you like the best (not as a buddy, but as someone who will help your business and from whom you are comfortable taking advice and criticism, etc.).  If you take the cold-calling bootcamp, you’ll get a few hours to get to know the person.  At the end of it you’ll know if you want that particular person helping you.  It will cost you the fee, though.  I’d talk to the trainer (interview him/her) before committing to the bootcamp.

A couple of cautions, though.

1.  Along the lines of, “Those who cannot do, teach.”  It’s easy to run into people who used to be in sales, failed at it, and now claim to be experts on teaching you.  Sandler is good, and Sandler (the company) teaches its trainers very well.  But, a lot of these failed “doers” turned trainers give off the subliminal message that you should fail, too, because that makes it okay that they failed.  They are not malicious, but there’s a lot of psychology going on in sales.  That’s a total judgment call on your part when you interview your consultant.  Ask how long they were in sales, what they sold (the more complex the product/service the better), what they liked about sales, what they didn’t like about sales, why they got out, and what other options they thought about besides going into sales training.  That should give you enough conversation points to try to dig into his/her mind a bit.  The last thing you need is someone “infecting” your mind.  (I’d say the same thing about sales managers, too.)

2.  The cold-calling bootcamp is great and you’ll walk out with actionable ideas that you can put to work immediately.  If you like the Sandler approach and want to continue, it’s a commitment on your part.  It takes a long time and a fair amount of effort to implement each technique within the “system.”  I’m not trying to discourage you–just to warn you that it will take an investment of time and practice.

Jul 4, 2009 6:56 pm

Ready for a few dumb questions?

  How do you find qualified individual prospects to call in light of the DNC list?   What's the best source of company info for qualified business dials individual prospects?   One more question...any suggestions on the caller ID problem?
Jul 4, 2009 7:19 pm

Sandler is great stuff.  I’d echo John’s comments.  Make sure the coach you select is a match to your personality and needs.  If you really commit to Sandler this person is going to be your personal coach.  My coach has a few Sandler partners and while they are all good I work best with my coach.  If you go completely in the cost is high, but if you are going to stay in any kind of sales type of business it is useful.

Jul 4, 2009 7:29 pm

Thanks for the input, I honestly have never done cold calling, as at EDJ the prospects were met through doorknocking residential and meeting business owners. Jones cut me loose and Im trying to broaden my prospecting skills.

Jul 4, 2009 7:46 pm

No such thing as a dumb question.  I wasted weeks and months figuring out this stuff and “lost” a lot of opportunities because I didn’t know it and was too proud to ask.  Again, my sales training coach just gave me a condescending look and said something like, “There are hundreds of different ways so just find the one that’s best for you.”  What a dork.

Short responses:
Call prospects who are NOT shielded by the DNC restrictions.
What CID problem?

Real responses.
1a. Call businesses.  DNC doesn’t cover them. 

1b. Residences:  Buy a list of residences pre-screened for DNC and call them darn quick.  My firm supplies us with Gryphon, which will “real time” check each phone number against DNC.  Even so, whenever you call a residence, do your pitch, and most important, get their permission for you to “check in from time to time” or whatever.  Point is, get their permission for you to call them back.  Whether you use file cards or ACT or something else, enter their info and the date that you initially called, that it passed your DNC screen, and that they gave you permission to call them from time to time. 

2a.  To find business leads:  There are a lot of places to find names and numbers of businesses.  Hoovers, Dun & Bradstreet sells great lists (I’ve used some D&B leads), trade association membership lists, Business Journal Book of Lists (if that’s in your area), etc.  Depends on your niche.  One that I’ve used a lot is Larkspur.  Your Hartford wholesaler can get you access to it, I think (they do for me).  It’s a database of retirement plans, but use it for the more general purpose of identifying businesses.  THe contact person listed is not reliable–most of the time it’s an office manager.  You want VITO’s name.  I’d ignore the retirement plan for now until you make a connection with the owner, but that’s my preference.  As an aside, one lead source that I would avoid like the plague is 401kExchange.  In my opinion, which is based on my experience, it’s a waste of money. 

2b.  To find residential names/numbers:  InfoUSA. 

3.  Seriously, though, why is CID a problem?  I assume that you feel that they are more likely to pick up an “Unavailable” call than a “Joe’s Financial Services” call.  Maybe, maybe not.  Either they pick up or they don’t.  That’s step one of the qualification process.  If I’m missing the point, let me know.

Feel free to ask more questions.