Twelve months ago, I was asked to participate in the Sandler Sales Training program. My employer, FocusCFO, provides Sandler training for all business development associates and since I’m the marketing maven, it made sense for me to know and understand the ideology and terminology too. I really didn’t know what to expect but jumped in, ready to learn. The program started with a two-day boot camp, followed by 12 months of weekly 1.5-hour sessions. You can easily put in an additional 1.5 hours /week on review, online content and exercises if you want to, which I often did.
Just shut up and listen.
As a marketing professional, what I found most interesting were the psychological and behavioral elements of the course. How and why people make decisions and the importance of always understanding where the other person is coming from. The only way to learn what motivates others, or what problems they are experiencing (pain), or what challenges you can help them with (opportunity), is to ask them.
Just ask them, and then shut up and just listen. What a novel notion! Selling can be very noble if you really care about others. Ask questions, listen, and see if you can help them.
You’re Always a 10
And here’s the good part, you’re always a 10! You’re born a 10, you die a 10 and you remain a 10 throughout your life. Your R score should not impact your I score. Ever. So, if you are having a bad day, or if you’ve just performed badly, or missed an opportunity, that should not impact how you think about your Identity and your value which remains a constant 10. Pretty cool, huh?
Sandler also taught that on average, people will perform in their roles only in a manner that is consistent with how they view themselves conceptually. So, keeping your I high will help you perform your Roles better.
Get Comfortable with Being Uncomfortable
My third and final biggest takeaway caught me totally off-guard and has become a personal and professional mantra since I heard it. Get comfortable with being uncomfortable. Of course, in the Sandler course, this applies mostly to the strategies and tactics of talking to people about their problems and pain, which can be pretty uncomfortable at times. But it can also apply to how you approach your own personal and professional challenges.
Pushing ourselves to operate outside of our comfort zone not only exercises our tenacity muscle but it builds confidence, strength and hardiness. It makes us more curious. Moreover, it likely makes you more empathetic to others who are just trying to grow their company, be a good employer, employee, friend, parent or spouse.
I’d like to thank Tom Thon, Mike Jones, Jordan Mullet, Ken Guest and all the coaches at The Ruby Group. It’s been a great year of self-exploration, camaraderie and super interesting content and sales strategies. You have demonstrated over and over your care and concern for your clients and your desire to help us be better business development professionals. Also, many thanks to FocusCFO’s Founder Brad Martyn, for giving me this opportunity for professional and personal growth.
Keep your I’s high, people. Listen more. And here’s to living outside your comfort zone.
Sharon is the Director of Marketing at FocusCFO based out of Columbus, OH.