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David Sandler Striplining

Is anybody here familiar with the selling/negotiation concept of striplining? If so. it might make for an interesting and informative thread.

Very few texts on selling cover striplining but its an important inclusion in the training programs and books on selling and negotiation, by the late David Sandler, and more recently, Jim Camp (Start With "NO").

For anyone unfamiliar with the concept, I encourage you to research it. - by Gary Boye
Is anybody here familiar with the selling/negotiation concept of striplining?
Ok, Gary, you got me with this tickler...what is it?:) - by RainMaker
Ok, Gary, you got me with this tickler...what is it?:)
No, RM, it wasn't a tickler. I was really looking for some people who knew the concept and wanted to share their experience. Perhaps some lurker out there. I'm afraid I couldn't do an explanation justice. But I'll give you a little taste.

Sandler, who is most often identified with the technique, believed that all selling is manipulation. He felt that customers and prospects were not committed to always telling the truth--and for those salespeople who wanted to take a complete high road, it was an uphill unfair battle because of a double standard.

Striplining is a form of reverse psychology. It is actually based on transactional analysis, but I won't go into that. The basis for the concept in selling and negotiation is a theory that no matter how enthusiastic a prospect seems towards buying, a resistance equal to the enthusiasm will take place upon the first reluctance on their part in their process. A 180 degree turn, as a result of a small issue, can negate the sale. The best car salespeople, for instance, know that it is important to slow the prospect down.

The slowing down process, or striplining (based on a fishing term that describes letting more line out after an initial bite, rather than setting the hook) is used to neutralize the buyer first. Think of a pendulum. From a neutral position, the seller can work more efficiently in handling the issues that stand between himself and the buyer.

It takes guts. Imagine a salesperson saying, "Why is it I get the impression that you're not a hundred percent convinced that this is the solution for your company?"

I have used almost that exact line many times with rewarding results. Is it manipulative (for you moralists out there)? Yes. Is it persuasive? No--I don't think so. It's strategic and systematic. - by Gary Boye
I've never heard of it but it does sound interesting. What more can you tell us?

Imagine a salesperson saying, "Why is it I get the impression that you're not a hundred percent convinced that this is the solution for your company?"
How would that question "slow" a prospect down? - by Calvin
Intersting philosphy and makes sense. Gary, I can see you have been a "student" of sales for a long time. It's amazing how much thought has been put into a single topic (referring to 'sales'). The more you begin to learn, the more THERE IS to learn!

I like this because I actually dislike it when a client seems 'too' excited at first. When this prospect doesn't buy (as not ALL prospects will buy--enthusiastic or otherwise), the overly excited ones are the most disappointing.:rolleyes: - by RainMaker
I too would be interested in hearing more about this technique. ;) - by MagicMan
I too would be interested in hearing more about this technique.
Ditto. Spill the beans Gary. ;) - by SalesGuy
Ditto. Spill the beans Gary. ;)
I'm not qualified or licensed to teach The Sandler Sales System and I've only read Jim Camp's book, Start with "No", once. I first discovered the term "striplining" about fifteen years ago in an article on selling written by David H. Sandler. At that time I wasn't too familiar with his work although I had lunch once with the guy who taught his system in the Western NY area.

I was fascinated by the article, because it reminded my of a technique I had been using, and frankly, I thought it was something unique to my repertoire. When I was a young salesman I remember this old pro pointing out that I used "reverse psychology" and it reminded him of this guy who he once knew who excelled in sales--kind of a legendary guy among direct salesmen. I was flattered but it just seemed natural.

With the above in mind, and the facts that I no longer have the article and I shouldn't be plagiarizing Camp's words here, I'll create a typical example from a composite of various selling situations I've been in. I hope it is helpful, but I encourage people to research both Sandler and Camp. (note: Sandler is not mentioned in Camp's book.) So these are my words and my example based on my interpretation:

Let's place ourselves in the role of a media advertising saleperson working for a radio station that enjoys high ratings. We have become involved in preparing a proposal for a six month radio advertising campaign for a home furnishing center in our market. We are dealing with the owner. The owner has told us that he has set a six month advertising budget of 60 thousand dollars which he intends to spend exclusively on one station only. He has requested that the commercials be done in "live read" format by a popular on-air morning drive personality on the station he chooses. He is considering our station and one other. Both stations have high morning drive ratings and both can provide very acceptable talent to deliver the commercial messages. He is an absolute qualified sales opportunity for us.

Think about this. He has set the cost himself and he is willing to spend it. He has determined that our station and personality are more than acceptable. He must advertise. He has chosen radio as his venue. What more can we want--except for the order? Why this guy we have to love to death. Treat him like royalty. Wine him and dine him, right? There is an imbalance of power here. Why? Because he is an impending sale--maybe.

But there are a few questions here. Like when? When always refers to a point somewhere between now and never. How about terms? Terms fall into two categories--acceptable and unacceptable. How about some "throw ins" to perk up the offer? Do you think for a minute those perks can't be used as a bargaining tool to negotiate a better proposal from our competition?

But our prospect has in hand the power of the impending sale. The carrot on the stick.

And he has told us that he's "leaning our way".

Stripline: "Jack, why is that I get the impression that you're not totally convinced that the campaign, our proposal, and our station is perfect for you?"

Whoa! The power of the impending sale just went down the drain. We're in neutral! We are on equal footing. Maybe it even occurs to Jack that he is not even our customer yet.

"No, Gary! I'm satisified with your proposal. And I think Phineas Bluster is perfect for doing our commercials."

"Well, Jack, level with me. What the hell is stopping us from getting this done today so I can get our production people working on it. They're excited already about doing it."

"Well okay, Gary I'll level. Six months and sixty grand is a big commitment on my part. I'm willing to sign the contract if you'll stipulate that I can rework my committment after three months if I need to."

"Jack, that goes with out saying. This has to work for you or we're not satisfied. Do we have a deal? Can we get this done?"

"Yeah, we have a deal."

It's important to understand that Jack probably pulled that reworking of the contract out of nowhere while on neutral ground. And it was easily handled. But if he was still in the imminent buyer/impending sale mode, that issue could have turned him 180 degrees into leaning away. It could easily implode in his mind. - by Gary Boye
Uhm... no offense but why would that be an important inclusion in training programs and where is the "reverse psychology"? - by Bulldog
Uhm... no offense but why would that be an important inclusion in training programs and where is the "reverse psychology"?
No offense taken, but you would have to ask someone who sells the Sandler Training Program. I don't. - by Gary Boye
This “striplining” technique is genius I’ll definitely do more research on this one. Thanks for the post Gary. - by Entrepreneur
For anyone unfamiliar with the concept, I encourage you to research it.
Do you know of any books on this topic? - by Jolly Roger
Do you know of any books on this topic?
Jim Camp includes the topic in Start With No, a book on negotiating. Also, David Sandler wrote a book on his selling model. It is a worthwhile read that covers the stripline technique, with the terrible title (IMHO) of You Can't Teach a Kid to Ride a Bike at a Seminar. Both are only available in hardcover. Sandler's book maintains a high price, even used. - by Gary Boye
I ordered a copy of Sandler's book today. Thank you for the recommendation. - by Agent Smith
Guys, forget about striplining - it doesn't work... - by r28551
Guys, forget about striplining - it doesn't work...
Probably depends on who's doing the striplining.

I'm familiar with the concept. I've used it. It "works." - by Ace Coldiron
Quad Erat Demonstrandum :-) - by r28551
Quad Erat Demonstrandum :-)
EXACTLY!

Having read your profile, I figured a proponent of Sandler training must have something up his/her sleeve.

For those who are not fluent in either Latin or Sandler, "Guys, forget about striplining - it doesn't work..." was a demonstation of Striplining and I was the "Striplinee." - by Ace Coldiron
appears to be a variation of the take away close geared to make your client conviince you that they really want your product and services. - by rich34232
Striplining is a completely different strategy than the "take away close". One is not derived from the other.

Sandler based his system on an intensive study of the Transactional Analysis approach to psychology.

The "take away close" is a simple maneuver where the seller implies a removal through scarcity of the product to lure the prospect into an urgency mindset. "Striplining" is NOT a "close. It is an attempt to bring the prospect to a "neutral" position based on the idea that people move forward towards a purchase from a neutral stance more often than one where they seem eager. - by Ace Coldiron
Guys, forget about striplining - it doesn't work...
Why doesn't it work? - by Seth
It can be a direct takeaway. It's also an attitude of mind that is "financially independent and doesn't need the business" - by r28551
It's also an attitude of mind that is "financially independent and doesn't need the business"
We call that "taking it off the table". We remove the implication of our vested interest, i.e. "I value your business--I don't need your business."

The great Canadian insurance salesman, David Cowper, used that approach often. - by Ace Coldiron
variation is the key word. They are asking the client to make sure that my product is what they really need and want. Forcing the client to accept in thier mind that my service and product is the right solution for them. By making the client inform us that they really really want my product and services.
With the questions in this very forum thread they are taking the prize away verbally and making the client justify owning the product and it is very effective. - by rich34232
variation is the key word. They are asking the client to make sure that my product is what they really need and want. Forcing the client to accept in thier mind that my service and product is the right solution for them. By making the client inform us that they really really want my product and services.
With the questions in this very forum thread they are taking the prize away verbally and making the client justify owning the product and it is very effective.
Taking the prize away verbally is not the goal. In a Sandler conversation, the salesperson does little or no talking. They buyer does all the work. Buyers BUY for their reasons, not the salespersons. Further, when the salesperson gets more excited than the customer, the customer tends to back off the sale. So the distinction in this case is that the salesperson use questions to create the buying fervor and also never gets between the customer and the sale. - by jdedwa11
In a Sandler conversation, the salesperson does little or no talking. They buyer does all the work.
That is not a correct statement regarding a striplining approach.

According to David Sandler (Selling Power April 1990), he explained it as "pulling your prospect to the 'no' side as long as you know how to swing him back to the 'yes' side." He explained that "the traditional approach would be to move him to the positive side by turning up the the enthusiasm." He also explained that "while neutral prospects can be difficult, positive prospects present an even greater challenge."

If you try to slot this methodology into familiar framework, i.e. "take away closes", "listening" in the interview, it becomes difficult to grasp what Sandler wanted to teach. This is NOT familiar material unless you've used it, or studied it. - by Ace Coldiron
I am aware of it and have read the books on sandler and vito.It is a form of taking away. I do not care what other words other peoples terms are that is for them.

You do not use this technique unless you are sure the client has a vested interest and will defend thier reason for purchasing the product.

I am almost afraid to say that the majority of those in sales have used similar approaches with clients when we know they want the product and we have formed a partnership wth our client.We want them to convince themselves to own. However we have already helped them discover and agree that what I have is what they want.

My guess the majority of sales people's goal to have the client say I want and I am going to get. - by rich34232
The price of acquiring knowledge or expertise in any field is high, and such acquisition is an act of volition. You can pay the price in money, in relentless study, and in the hard knocks of experience.

Many of the advanced methodologies in selling are a departure from traditional selling approaches in spite of the fact that the fundamentals remain intact. They are certainly a departure from what Rich34232 describes as the "approaches of the majority in sales." Sandler's methods are in that category that require a deeper understanding.

Like others, I have read many posts on this forum. Some members, like Rich34232, have written expositorily on how they sell. I have seen little evidence of a process similar to Sandler's in those revelations.

I've seen people criticize this forum for reasons of their own choosing. Among other things, SalesPractice is supposed to be a source of information for people desiring to acquire knowledge. None of us, regardless of experience, are qualified to contribute in all areas. In my own case, I seldom venture into things like cold calling discussion simply because my lead generation is referrals, account management, and direct response marketing.

The subject of "striplining" is a worthwhile addition to knowledge of selling. To relegate it to an area of common practices, cross reference it to another author who addressed a different subject, reference it as a pop close ("take away"), would hardly inspire others to gain authentic knowledge of Sandler's teachings, which, in my opinion, would be a worthwhile endeavour. - by Ace Coldiron
Ace, as someone who is qualified to talk about Strip Lining, I agree 100% with you. There are very few people skilled enough to use the technique well. I have observed many make a dogs dinner of it. Then when it doesn't work, they blame the technique rather than their execution of it.

Mastering Strip Lining requires a lot more than reading. To think otherwise would be akin to saying that you can get a black belt in Karate by reading a book.

Strip Lining is not always executed as a take away and it's certainly not for everyone! - by r28551
Post deleted as not contributory to topic. - by rich34232
There are many sales techniques that can be molded and fitted into different styles that create a unique selling situation. It is not limited to the Big Boys only club.

I choose not to debate. I have seen the direction of debates. I refuse to enter them. I have seen and experienced these debates. If there is equal power I might engage in a debate however there is not equal power and I will not.

However keep up defining value of this technique or not.
Hey Rich... I'm not sure exactly what you mean by power, but what I do expect, suspect, is that sometimes that debait degrades into a lack of respect for others opinions, of which all this is anyway.

Me on the other hand, love debate if I understand what we're debating. This particular topic... striplining etc.... I don't understand and so can't debate it from any point relevance, and I can't say that I really understand much of it's process.

However, I love to critique and be critiqued of specific sales situations so there uncle rich.... :) come up with a scenario I'm happy to criticize... and happy to learn why my criticism is all wet, and offer my rendition... and fall on my sword if I have to... but I cheat usually and use my rubber sword instead....

So if someone comes up with a specific.. I'm willing offer... for example if you are selling a product... not a solution here.. strictly product oriented... numbers not volume...

Life's journey....

We learn to earn... school
We work... how much of our income do we need?
We have family... how much of our income do we need?
We have a house... how much of our income do we need?
From now till we retire... how much of our income do we need?
We also have Quality of Life Issues

How much of that is it that we need if we died today?

Can we have too much life insurance? If we today don't have enough, would your wife, children, parents, or siblings object if you left them $25,000 more? If I was a real rich guy and came in here and sayed... "I like you, I'd like to give you $25,000 .... would you take it? Would you find a use for it? Would your family?"

Ok... for $5.00 a week $25,000 of guaranteed cash value universal life insurance... no needles no blood. If you ever have a situation where you require care for bathing, dressing etc, we'll give you $500 a month for up to 100 months, using up your death benefit, and once we get into week 51, we'll have a paid up policy of $6750. Whether you live, die, or require care, so $5.00 a week what'll it be... a $5.00 foot long or a lifetime legacy for your family? ..... to sorta paraphrase....

shds; ;bg - by rattus58
...a lack of respect for others opinions, of which all this is anyway.

Me on the other hand, love debate if I understand what we're debating. This particular topic... striplining etc.... I don't understand and so can't debate it from any point relevance, and I can't say that I really understand much of it's process.

However, I love to critique and be critiqued of specific sales situations...
Debates are OK, Tom.

Personally, I'm not so dishonest as to say that I respect all opinions. I think it's humanly impossible to do that in the purest sense. The right to express an opinion is a different matter.

Sometimes people visit SalesPractice that are authorities on a particular topic. For instance, on this topic relating to a Sandler technique, the head of Sandler Training visited the thread and offered his insight. I think that's a good thing. I personally don't want to see such authorities, or anyone else, subjected to the ugliness of reverse-snobbishness with references to The Big Boy's Club. As moderator, I won't allow it.

In your case, I agree with you and understand that none of us can learn every system on selling, nor would we want or need to.

Your posts are fair and offer insight. - by Ace Coldiron
Hi Ace..... :)

Actually you're right, I don't always gauge every opinion with tolerance either. I notice you spared my little UL pitch a critic...;bg

Much Aloha.... Tom shds; - by rattus58
Hi Ace..... :)

Actually you're right, I don't always gauge every opinion with tolerance either. I notice you spared my little UL pitch a critic...;bg

Much Aloha.... Tom shds;
Can't comment on your Universal Life pitch because it's off topic. Cut and paste it on a new thread, and I'll give you my thoughts---which are positive-- and I'll give you the reason why. - by Ace Coldiron
Uncle Rattus
Striplining has its place in sales.In the deleted thread I state where I use striplining. In that situation it is a perfect fit and produces fantastic results with that difficult client.

I also stated reading the books concerning Sandler training can be comprehended.The three training books by Sandler; Close the Deal, You can't teach a kid to ride a bike at a seminar and lastly VITO.All very good books with great insight.Easy read and comprehend while gaining interest as you read.

My thread did not diss the Sandler training however it did critque those who claim you cannot read and comprehend ,implement strategies that is read. The negative thread stating we cannot comprehend must contend the writers of these books are not articulate enough to allow comprehension of the Sandler techniques. I disagree and suggest people to read these informational books and implement the strategies that fit into their sales process.

Absolutely concerning debates and deleting. - by rich34232
My thread did not diss the Sandler training however it did critque those who claim you cannot read and comprehend ,implement strategies that is read. The negative thread stating we cannot comprehend must contend the writers of these books are not articulate enough to allow comprehension of the Sandler techniques. I disagree and suggest people to read these informational books and implement the strategies that fit into their sales process.

Absolutely concerning debates and deleting.
Its important to understand that when the CEO of Sandler Training takes time to participate in a thread referencing a Sandler technique, and a member makes a perjorative reference to "The Big Boys", it is NOT how we want to welcome him or anybody, and it is not good for this forum. That behavour will not be tolerated.

We've been down this road before with you, and you once complained among a series of other complaints that a post like this should be sent privately. Your response to a PM was then sent publically which was quite a double standard.

This forum's purpose is not for you to air your personal frustrations. If you have something to contribute on a subject, and you know the subject--fine. Please stop the constant complaining and ugly innuendoes immediately if you want your posts to remain undeleted. It's a shame I can't send you this privately, but you set the precedent. I can't say it any clearer. Lastly, the purpose for the reputation points is not to take shots at people. It is to submit an evaluation of a post.

You are also misquoting and accusing members of saying things that were not said. That must also stop and stop now. - by Ace Coldiron
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