Thursday, July 24th10°C
Sales Meeting Minute

Buyer motivation

David Sandler’s search for knowledge about why and how people buy coincided with the Transactional Analysis (TA) movement in psychology. TA theory defines three ego states that influence our behavior—the Parent, the Adult, and the Child. Think of these ego states as internal tape recorders where childhood impressions—teachings and associated feelings—are stored.

The Parent contains recordings of what you saw your mother, father, and other authority figures do and what you heard them say during your first five years of life. Its recordings were unedited. Sometimes, Parent messages were critical, judgmental, and/or prejudicial.

The Adult acts much like a computer, processing data supplied by the Parent and by the Child, as well as data it collects. The Adult is logical, rational, and analytical. The Adult solves problems and reckons probability.

The Child is where many of our decisions originate—not just buying decisions, but all kinds of decisions. The Child is that little six-year-old in us who, feeling a particular emotion at a particular time, says, “I want this,” and “I want to do that.” Or perhaps: “I don’t want this,” and “I don’t want to do that.”

David Sandler recognized that it’s the prospect’s Child that starts the buying process.

The Parent isn’t going to judge whether a purchase is appropriate or not, and the Adult isn’t going to weigh the pluses and minuses of the purchase or the pros and cons of a particular vendor until the Child wants the product or service.

Why would the Child want a product or service? Psychologists suggest that people take action (including buying products and services) in order to have something, to know something, to be able to do something, or to be known for something. So if Melanie is selling consulting services to Randall, a CEO, she needs to be able to identify which of those (very different) desires is most likely to motivate Randall! 

Does Randall want to have greater market share? Does he want to be able to do something to reward his team for a great quarter? Does he want to be known for an achievement that no one in his industry has ever pulled off? These are very different motivations. These desires can be initiated by greed, envy, curiosity, desire, fear, or any other feeling or emotion that resides within the Child. Until she identifies those feelings and emotions, Melanie is not in a position to make any kind of recommendation to Randall.

Getting the Child to express that kind of desire is the objective of the critical phase of the buyer-seller relationship that we call the Pain Step. Getting prospects emotionally involved in the sale doesn’t necessarily mean they have to be emotional—unhappy, angry, distraught, fearful, or any other specific emotion. Nor does it mean that the prospect has to express an emotion. It simply means that the prospect's inner Child is saying, “I want it.”

Why is your prospect’s Child saying, “I want it”? Perhaps it’s because you helped him discover something he didn’t know before he met you. Maybe you helped him see his situation from a different perspective, and uncovered some doubt about an existing strategy. Perhaps you helped him focus on the real root cause of his problem. Perhaps his Child is saying, “I want to know what this person knows,” or “I want what this person has to offer.”

Whatever the motivation, you will not close a sale unless the emotional component of your prospect’s identity—the Child—first signs off on the deal.


Copyright 2014 Sandler Training and Insight Sales Consulting Inc. All rights reserved.

John Glennon is the owner of Insight Sales Consulting Inc, the authorized Sandler Training Licensee for the Interior of British Columbia. He can be reached at [email protected], toll free at 1-866-645-2047 or visit


Don't burn your bridges

"Don't burn your bridges" reminds you to make sure that you can always go back the way you came. Perhaps to get a reference or a referral from a former prospect, or maybe even go back to work for a company with whom you once worked. This can be good and practical advice. In business today, you need all the allies you can get.  There are times, however, when burning your bridges is exactly what you need to do. Burning your bridges is another component of the Formula for Success. Sandler has identified three particular bridges that need to be burned:

  • the Bridge of Reliance
  • the Bridge of Hope
  • the Bridge of Comfort

Do you rely on certain key customers to help you make your quota month after month because it's easier than going out and developing new clients? Do you rely on selling popular products or high-demand items in your product line to make your numbers because your company's less popular but more profitable items are harder to sell? If you do, then you've got to burn that Bridge of Reliance. What you rely on today may not be there tomorrow.  

Do you continually chase prospects who are always willing to talk with you, but never buy? "Drop in when you're in the neighborhood." "We're always happy to hear from you." Why continue to invest your time with someone who won't help you reach your goals? If you're hoping that one day they will do business with you, burn the Bridge of Hope. Go make something happen today, not someday.

Do you find yourself investing an excessive amount of time on low-volume prospects because you're comfortable with them? You know they should be buying more, but you don't want to rock the boat and push them to buy more. Why? Because you don't want to make yourself or them uncomfortable. If that's you, burn that Bridge of Comfort. Get out of your rut, break through your comfort zone and do something great.

No matter which of these bridges you are falling back on, you need to burn them, because they are causing you to fall back. You aren't making any progress toward success; you're only maintaining the status quo. 


Copyright 2014 Sandler Training and Insight Sales Consulting Inc. All rights reserved.

John Glennon is the owner of Insight Sales Consulting Inc, the authorized Sandler Training Licensee for the Interior of British Columbia. He can be reached at [email protected], toll free at 1-866-645-2047 or visit

Time spent prospecting

How much time should you put into prospecting?

The question is a bit of a puzzle.  Ideally, there would be a reference book that lists, by industry, how much time you should invest in prospecting activities.  Unfortunately, there’s no reference book. 


How much time you invest will depend on the number of prospecting activities you plan, the nature of the activities, and the intended results of the activities.

More importantly, different salespeople have different goals, and these goals will necessitate different amounts of time prospecting.  Introducing a new product or opening a new territory may take more time than continuing to cultivate an existing market where you already have exposure. 

If your efforts are primarily passive, where you have little, if any control of the outcome - direct mail or e-mail for example - you will likely have to do more and it will take longer to see results.  If your efforts are more proactive, where you have considerable control - cold prospecting or generating and then calling on referrals for instance - you can invest less time. 

Since there is no simple formula, you must consider your prospecting objectives and then carefully track your activities and results.  Then, you can decide how much time you want to invest and choose the activities that will allow you to achieve your objectives in that time period.


Copyright 2014 Sandler Training and Insight Sales Consulting Inc. All rights reserved.

John Glennon is the owner of Insight Sales Consulting Inc, the authorized Sandler Training Licensee for the Interior of British Columbia. He can be reached at [email protected], toll free at 1-866-645-2047 or visit


Achieve your resolutions

Early into the New Year, year after year, many of us make promises to instill change in our personal lives. Whether it’s an effort to exercise more or read a book every month, it seems like just about everyone thinks about their individual goals and makes at least one of these resolutions.

While our intentions are good, the truth is that by sometime in mid-March, most of us have all but forgotten these “commitments". In fact, researchers at the University of Scranton state that only 8% of people who make New Year’s resolutions are successful in achieving them! 

Leadership teams should consider the following points when determining organizational goals for the coming year…

​​1. Make the goals specific and relevant.  Many organizations commit to doing things differently in the New Year in order to infuse positive change, but they often fall short because they fail to outline the steps needed to make those changes come to fruition.

  • This can be a daunting task, but laying out a specific path to achieve company goals is critical to success.
  • If company goals are relevant, challenging and attainable, you will get buy-in from employees.


2. Track the progress of the goals you’ve set.  It is important to revisit your list of goals and analyze progress to gauge whether or not you are advancing. If you are making progress, be sure to celebrate those victories. If you are not, determine what isn’t working and implement specific adjustments to get back on track.

  • Not enough organizations commemorate the small victories on the journey toward each goal. As you reach certain milestones, those achievements should be celebrated!
  • This is as much about motivating your team as it is about honoring what you’ve accomplished.


3. Stay the course.  Often when a company is struggling to reach its goals, it is because leadership has not given serious consideration to the steps above. When leadership loses sight of the prize or waffles on the best way to achieve success, the ripple effect can be devastating.

  • Sometimes when goals are not being met, leaders panic and change the action plan midstream. This sudden change in direction will inevitably be a major blow to employees’ confidence in the leadership team. 
  • Keep in mind that changes to your company’s strategic vision only delay the completion of your objectives. 

None of these steps are easy, but achieving organizational success rarely is. When building a leadership team, be intentional about getting the right people in the right positions. Leaders who can successfully motivate employees to reach a common company goal will benefit everyone. By following these steps, your business will have a much better chance of joining the ranks of companies achieving their resolutions this year. 

©Steve Schaffer - Sandler Training Partner 


John Glennon is the owner of Insight Sales Consulting Inc, the authorized Sandler Training Licensee for the Interior of British Columbia. He can be reached at [email protected], toll free at 1-866-645-2047 or visit

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About the Author

John Glennon is an authorized licensee of Sandler TrainingSM in the Interior of British Columbia.

John is an accomplished sales person and manager with over 17 years sales and sales management experience. Beginning in sales in 1990 as a sales representative, he progressed to territory manager, sales manager, division manager and national sales and marketing manager roles throughout his career.

In 1997, John became a student of the Sandler Selling System. This introduction changed his sales career and over time propelled John and his career to new heights.

Successful in accelerating growth through strategic leadership, John knows firsthand the value of a sales training approach that follows a learning philosophy of ongoing reinforcement. He is experienced in driving the behaviours, attitudes and techniques required of an effective sales team.

Sandler Training is offered on a regular basis from their Kelowna, BC training center and through innovative distance learning programs to the rest of the BC Interior.

[email protected]


The views expressed are strictly those of the author and not necessarily those of Castanet. Castanet presents its columns "as is" and does not warrant the contents.

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