Sandler Selling System Guide for Home Improvement Businesses

Updated on April 1st, 2022
Sandler Selling System Guide for Home Improvement Businesses

It's a long road to hitting the monthly or annual sales quota. Whether you're running a home improvement business or are a part of a bigger team, the sales cycle is vicious.

There's more than one sales model that sales reps employ to sell a product or service, from traditional selling methods such as door-to-door and cold calls to more modern and subtle methods. All have their logic, but most of them are different roads to the same goal - selling to a prospect and earning money.

Although every sales process must result in profit, that doesn't necessarily mean that the salesperson should prioritize their benefit over the customer's benefit.

The fact is that both the buying and selling process is vastly different than just ten years ago. Buyers are better informed. Since 93% of buyers do online research before buying, salespeople can no longer bet on consumers' ignorance to land a sale or two.

That's likely the key reason why Sandler Selling System has been such a dominant force in the sales business for such a long time. It doesn't discriminate against the buyer.

The article will explain what the Sandler Selling System is and how it benefits your home improvement business. Let's start.

What is Sandler Selling System?

The Sandler Selling System was developed in 1967 by David Sandler. Instead of acting as an aggressive salesperson, the goal for a sales rep is to act as a trusty consultant - someone the consumer can trust.

If an individual wants to buy something, that means they have a problem or they lack something. With the Sandler Sales Methodology, the goal isn't to "convince" the prospect to buy but to have them decide for themselves.

The sales rep must focus on building a relationship as early as the qualification process. The seller helps the buyer pinpoint pain points through a bonding process by asking the right questions.

Like with the health service, the home improvement business is unique because the buyer will rarely go with the first option they find. Same as the customer doesn't want just anybody to check their heart, lungs, or overall wellbeing, so they don't want just anybody to fix their roof. It's their livelihood on the line.

The trust factor becomes even more prominent considering the pandemic. After a reserved 2020, according to Better Business Bureau and Porch, 76% of homeowners in the United States have had at least one home improvement project since the pandemic started. On top of finding a trustful home improvement business, clients also had to worry about the pandemic. But, even with the pandemic sweeping the nation, customers are still looking to improve their housing.

While you can make a couple of cheap but quick sales, it comes down to trust for real success.

Before explaining how the Sandler Selling System can help you build a bonding relationship with clients, resulting in bigger yields, let's understand the core principles first.

Sandler Selling System Core Principles

Before diving into the methodology itself, it's vital to understand the mindset first. Remember, you're still offering your home improvement services. On that level, nothing has changed. What should change is your relationship with the client and how you offer solutions.

Here are core principles and rules created by David Sandler himself.

Find the Pain Points

Inexperienced salespeople take what prospects say for granted too often. Just because a patient tells their doctor their stomach hurts, that doesn't mean it's the main problem. It might be the symptom created by a problem that the patient isn't aware of.

Before you dive into selling your product or service, you must identify the prospect's genuine problem. You do that by asking the right questions during the qualification process.

Discovering Over Persuading

Whether it's a presentation, a sales call, or in-person communication, salespeople focus on why customers should buy their service too much. Instead, they should build a rapport where the customer concludes on their own during their decision-making.

The sales rep needs to focus on building a case for themselves in a non-intrusive fashion.

An average salesperson fears that they will miss their golden opportunity if they don't act fast. While it's possible to miss the selling moment with any method, including Sandler Sales Methodology, you shouldn't sell the "why" during the conversation. Instead, let the reasoning develop on its own, with subtle pushes in the right direction.

The Conversation Sweet Spot

Some sales reps talk too much. Either because they are nervous or inexperienced, talking too much can deflate the buyer's interest instantly. When you meet a qualifying prospect, it should be a bonding dialogue instead of an intrusive monologue.

Look at it like this. If a prospect wants a rundown of your services, they can visit your website (which you hopefully have.) Meaning they will learn nothing new from your conversation. But if you approach in a consultative manner from the get-go, you're more likely to build a fruitful relationship because both you and the client will discover something new.

A lead becomes a client when they realize that you can help them, not when you spend an hour explaining how awesome you are.

Resistance is Inherent

People don't like orders on what to do or buy. Persuading a lead to buy your services right from the start is like attempting to break a concrete wall with a wine glass.

Instead, in the case where buyers aren't 100% sure that they need your service, they need to go through the process of self-discovery. Most people don't know why they should insulate their homes, for instance. But if you identify the problem and present the honest solution, people might soften up rather quickly.

Sandler Sales Methodology

It sounds evident on the paper, right? Be kind to your customers, and they will buy. But in reality, the solution isn't as straightforward. There are multiple stages to the sales method since the salesperson needs to find the delicate balance between compassion and directing the buyer. Being too pushy or too compassionate can result in wasting time without closing the sale.

There are many Sandler training courses online, and here are the main steps you can take towards incorporating the Sandler Selling System into your home improvement business.

Bonding & Rapport

Small businesses lose between 20% to 70% of clients merely because of a lackluster client connection. That's because the bond between the buyer and the seller is on shaky legs from the very first stage.

Same as you use CRM or marketing strategies to create better online customer relationships, the same goes for in-person connections. During the first stage of the sales process and incorporating the Sandler Sales Methodology, you need to establish that bond with a prospect. Ask questions, but also be mindful. The fact is that often it's not about what questions you ask, but how you ask them.

Up-Front Sales Process

Every successful sales process rests on honesty, and the Sandler Sales Methodology is no different. It's mandatory that you set the right expectations from the start. It's tempting to make the service more attractive than it is, but keep in mind that customers will figure out the shortcomings one way or the other.

But by discussing the pain points from the start, you're creating leverage for yourself. Not only will you grow in the prospect's eyes, but you will also offer solutions.

By setting the ground rules, you're creating a healthy environment that creates more selling opportunities.

Identify the Problem

Although you should scratch the surface when you first meet the client, don't focus too much on the problems until your bonding process is over. After you create a bond and set up expectations, you can move to the qualification step.

In the Sandler Sales Methodology, this is often the hardest step. The difficulty stems from feeling uncomfortable asking your prospect specific questions such as "Have you tried to solve the problem before?" or "What difficulties you had in the past?"

But asking questions and figuring the solution becomes more manageable with the right mindset. If you enter the conversation with the idea to help buyers find the best solution, you're acting as a consultant, not as a sales rep.

Although your company is here to sell home improvement services, you need to deal with it as a joint problem, not an individual issue.

As an example, imagine you want to find out your prospect's home improvement budget. If that's the first question you ask, you can be sure the client will leave.

But if you build up by talking about how people struggle with budget and the overall financing process, you're pinpointing the problem and setting the field for the solution.

If it ends up that one of your prospect's pain points is the budget, now you know how you can help. For instance, maybe you have consumer financing options that you can offer.

Talking About Budget

The budget doesn't come up until the end of the sales process in a traditional sales method. But since you're creating a trusted experience, both the prospect and you should be comfortable talking about budget solutions.

Not only do you find out early if the customer can afford your services, but also if they are willing to invest time. Remember that prospects are hunting for the best solution. Although your company might have everything it takes to solve the problem, the prospect might simply not qualify as a potential buyer.

Decision-Making

The final stage of the qualification sales process is figuring out who, what, where, and why. The Sandler Selling System aims to get vital answers as quickly as possible by creating an environment where the prospect opens up.

For any organization or business, figuring out how prospects want the buying process creates an effective selling system.

Closing the Deal

If you have all the information that you need, you will know when it's the right time to propose your solution. Armed with knowledge, you'll know what to say to make your offer the best one they can get.

Making significant home improvement investments doesn't come easy. An average home remodeling can quickly build up to a five or six-figure price. This goes back to what we discussed earlier. Having multiple options in your arsenal makes you ready for any problem you might discover during the sales process.

When it comes to the client's budget, offering options that make the payment process easier can often be the deal breaker between a failed and a successful sale.

Offer Consumer Financing Solutions

While you will discover many obstacles using the Sandler Sales Model, it often comes down to the prospect's financial capabilities.

Offering high-quality service is no longer an advantage in your selling process. It’s a necessity.

Because of that, you need to take a step further to defeat the competition, and one way you can do that is to offer financial convenience.

If your company isn't flexible with its financial offers, you will lose a vast percentage of potential leads.

Time Investment Company is known for building a family-like relationship with business clients from different industries such as home improvement, HVAC, roofing, etc.

If you need advice or want to figure out your possibilities, feel free to get in touch, and we'll be glad to offer help.

Sara Hafeman

With years of experience in the consumer financing industry, Sara Hafeman currently leads marketing and partner development at Time Investment.