Do You Have a Bachelors in Sales?

January 30, 2020 | Karl Schaphorst

Karl Schaphorst, Owner and President, Sandler Training Nebraska/Iowa

Multiple sources suggest that the number one need in business is finding good salespeople. This shouldn’t be a difficult task. I mean, if you want an engineer, hire someone with an engineering degree. If you want an accountant, hire someone with an accounting degree. If you want a marketing person, hire someone with a marketing degree. So, if you want a salesperson, just hire someone with a sales degree ... Oh wait, they don’t have those.

So, who trains the salespeople then? Usually it is the company or business owner and it is heavily based on product features and benefits. The training is short, informal and usually on-the-job. This results in a very predictable selling behavior that is time consuming, cumbersome and inefficient for the salesperson. While there are exceptions, almost all the salespeople I run into sell the same way–including me–until I came across the Sandler Selling System. To illustrate the ‘dance’ that ensues when buyer and seller come together, I charted the predictable behaviors that take place when I encounter a salesperson:



Prospect (Me)


Needs Analysis

I provide some information but, it is a little misleading. That’s right, I lie a little. I don’t mean to, but I do it out of self-defense.


Information Dump


I like this part. The salesperson tells me everything they know and thus I become an informed buyer. Knowledge is power and I now have it. The best thing is, it didn’t cost me a thing.


Trial Close

I knew this part was coming. I hate this part. It’s stressful and uncomfortable for me. The salesperson was building up to this moment, but I saw it coming from miles away and I know exactly what to do here to make sure I remain in control ... “I need to think this over.”


Handle Objections

“Come on already, I am not going to make a decision right now. Tell you what ... Call me tomorrow after I have had a night to sleep on it and I am sure I will buy it then.”  Whew, got out of that one. 




Yup, he called just when he said he would. Thank goodness for caller ID and voicemail. Oh, and I did buy, but it was from someone else who could implement the good ideas I got from the previous salesperson and at a cheaper price. Is that bad?

Maybe you can relate to the above selling experience. It was painful for me when this was explained for the first time because I was the salesperson in the above table. The prospect’s buying system as explained above was always the system we followed to the benefit of the prospect. Why would I allow this time and time again if it was more advantageous to the prospect than for me? Because I didn’t have a system for selling, so when I started dancing with the prospect, their system was the default system of choice. I still made sales; it just took a lot of time, effort (I gave lots of free consulting) and energy before I got the deal.

There is a better way to sell and the first step is to recognize that you are a sales professional. Get your degree is sales! You don’t have to be enrolled in a university to get one. Rather, engage a sales training program that is as rigorous as a college course. (One- and two-day seminars won’t transform you into a high-performance salesperson overnight.) Lawyers, doctors, teachers, firemen and engineers go through rigorous training so they can provide value to their clients. They study their trade, they practice and they engage in continual personal development and improvement ... So should the sales professional. It is especially true for salespeople since many are paid based on the sales they make: sales training investments in yourself or in your company's sales team will pay high dividends every time! 

If you would like to lean more about the Sandler Selling System, please contact Cliff Hanks at 515-446-8176 to arrange a conversation or meeting. You can also enjoy Super K, a free 3-4 minute daily podcast sharing sales tips and encouragement. You can register by going to

Karl Schaphorst is owner and president of Sandler Training Nebraska/Iowa. Contact him via email at