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The Sandler Rules by David Mattson

The full title of this book by David Mattson is

The Sandler Rules: 49 Timeless Selling Principles and How to Apply Them

In my review posted on Amazon.co.uk, I gave it 3 Stars.

Here is my review.

Starts strongly with counter-intuitive sales ideas but fades away and the layout is irritating

This book based on the Sandler Sales System created by David Sandler back in the late sixties and seventies and presents “49 timeless selling principles and how to apply them.”

It is written by David Mattson, CEO and partner at Sandler Systems, Inc. and if you are not familiar with the Sandler name, it has become one of the best established sales training franchises throughout the world.

The Sandler Selling System ® is different from many selling approaches since it de-emphasises the closing stage and puts the emphasis on qualifying (giving the buyer permission to say NO early in the process) and on digging deep into the pain of the problem the prospective customer wishes to solve.

I know some people feel the approach is disguised manipulation but that charge can be levied at a lot of sales and marketing techniques since they all want the buyer’s money.

I bought “The Sandler Rules” because of the great reviews on Amazon.com but having read the book, I fear that it is another example of vested interests giving a biased impression of the book.

Part of my problem is that I think you need to understand the Sandler Selling System® to appreciate the book but it is not described here. While I have some issues with it, I recommend that you read David Sandler’s book “You Can’t Teach a Kid to Ride a Bike at a Seminar” first if you are new to the Sandler ideas

Each rule has a two or three page explanation together with a chance to test your understanding (with the answers irritatingly written in very small print against a shaded background and upside down). There is also a brief guide to the behaviour you need WHICH IS WRITTEN IN CAPITAL LETTERS AND THEREFORE DIFFICULT TO READ.

It makes some good points and after the first 10 to 15 rules, I was expecting a review rating of 4.5 stars, then it dropped to 4 stars and finally to 3.5 stars so I have the impression that it starts strongly and finishes weakly. The cynic in me says that’s OK because it is well known that most business books that are bought and started are never finished.

I was disappointed but I like a lot of the Sandler System. One such idea is the fall back. Traditional sales approaches teach you how to keep battering down any objections the customer dares to come up with but the problem is that you can meet force with force. The stronger you resist your buyer’s resistance, the more they will resist. The Sandler system challenges the buyer to keep you in the game and as a counter-intuitive approach, I think it’s very insightful.


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