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Sandler Rules For Selling


Written for the Burnside News

  • Sandler Rule 21: Sell Today, Educate Tomorrow
  • Sandler Rule 5: Never Answer An Unasked Question
  • Sandler Rule 24: Product Knowledge Used At The Wrong Time Can Be Intimidating
  • Sandler Rule 2: Don’t Spill Your Candy In The Lobby.

Each of these rules has a much deeper story but the big picture question is why do some salespeople feel the need to talk when it’s the wrong thing to do. A recent study from the University of Pennsylvania noted in the book To Sell Is Human by Daniel Pink that the old paradigm that successful salespeople are very extroverted is not correct. In fact extroverts are only marginally ahead of introverts when it comes to being successful in business development.

Surprisingly, it’s the ambiverts who have the edge. These are the people in the middle. The Harvard Business Review studies of sales professionals found that top performers are less gregarious and that the most sociable salespeople are often the poorest performers of all. Extroverts often stumble over themselves. They can talk too much and listen too little. Introverts have their own challenges. They may be too shy to initiate and too timid to close or ask compelling questions. Selling requires a delicate balance and ambiverts find that balance. They know when to speak and when to shut up.

Salespeople who feel the need to sell features and benefits before they have fully qualified the opportunity may find themselves providing information that isn’t applicable or worse they do a lot of unpaid consulting.

Assuming you know the prospect’s problem and because “you’ve seen it many times before” you jump into giving answers to questions that were not asked. What’s the result? They think you’re clairvoyant and special or would they feel that their situation is being dealt with in a cavalier way and feel taken for granted?

The greatest strength a salesperson can have is the ability to craft and ask compelling questions and then LISTEN to the response. It shows interest and respect. It also allows you to gather information that is important to the prospect. When they tell you the problem and the consequences of how it’s affecting the business and them personally it’s real. When the salesperson leaps in on the assumption they know they sound like they’re selling. Would it be better for the prospect to sell themselves?

2013 Sandler Training Inc. ( is an international sales and management training/consulting firm. To get a copy of our book 49 Timeless Selling Principles send an email to

Eric Fry

Sandler trainer