Asking Questions the Sandler Way – Book Review

By: Antonio Garrido

The article discusses an alternative approach to the common sales process through the lens of the Sandler Selling System, which comprises seven stages.

Bonding and Rapport:

Building strong connections involves self-awareness, emotional intelligence, style flexibility, and professional humility. Trust is crucial, and trust-based questions aid in this process.

The Up-Front Contract:

Establishing clear expectations for the meeting through an Up-Front Contract ensures alignment on time, purpose, agendas, and potential outcomes. It helps filter serious prospects and saves time.


Understanding the prospect’s pain is crucial. Surface pain is the starting point, leading to business and personal-level pain. Skillful questioning reveals the implications, creating a sense of urgency for action.


Transitioning to budget discussions distinguishes prospects willing to take action from those able to do so. Questions about expected investment levels provide insight into the prospect’s commitment.


This stage determines qualification for a detailed presentation, potential disqualification, or identification of additional decision-makers. Clarifying the prospect’s expectations and post-presentation steps is vital.


During the presentation, aligning with the prospect’s identified pains is crucial. Continuous gauging of their response ensures the content meets expectations and corrects course if needed.


Addressing potential buyer’s remorse before signing the contract is crucial. Anticipating objections, preparing responses, and ensuring the prospect is ready to communicate decisions internally are key elements.

Bonus: Reversing:

The article introduces the “reversing” technique, emphasizing responding to questions with questions. Various reversing techniques, such as Negative Reverse and Presumptive-Question Reverse, help uncover the intent behind inquiries, fostering deeper understanding.

This systematic approach aims to enhance the effectiveness of salespeople, promoting meaningful interactions, and minimizing time wasted on unqualified prospects.


The article introduces a paradigm shift in the traditional sales process by presenting the Sandler Selling System, consisting of seven strategic stages. Emphasizing the importance of building rapport, setting clear expectations, understanding and addressing prospect pain, and navigating budget discussions, the system offers a systematic and insightful approach to sales. By incorporating techniques such as the Up-Front Contract and “reversing,” sales professionals can enhance their effectiveness, ensuring meaningful interactions, efficient qualification of prospects, and a streamlined path to successful deals.

The Sandler Selling System encourages a more nuanced and empathetic understanding of clients’ needs, ultimately leading to improved sales outcomes and fostering long-term client relationships. As salespeople adopt these principles, they are better equipped to navigate the intricacies of the sales journey, from initial contact to post-sale, and elevate their overall performance in the dynamic field of sales.

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