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How Sandler Training is Entrepreneur Magazine's #1 Sales Franchise 9 Years Running

FranchiseHelp's Matt Wilson interviews Ron Taylor, VP of Franchise Development for Sandler Training.

FranchiseHelp digs in to find out exactly what it's like to be a franchisee at Sandler Training, the advantages to owning a franchise rather than starting your own training company from scratch and why Sandler Training has been ranked the number one training franchise by Entrepreneur Magazine for the past nine years.

Sandler Training offers a distinctive style of training to companies and individuals in the fields of sales, management consulting and leadership development through on-going seminars and workshops. They provide intensive training, a unique lead generation program, on-going day-to-day support and protected territories to help you succeed in business.

Sandler Training's Financial Disclosure Document can be found in the FranchiseHelp Research and Document Center.

For those of you who prefer reading over video, the complete transcript for the Sandler Training interview can be found below:

Matt Wilson, FranchiseHelp: Hello everybody, I'm Matt Wilson. This is, and I'm here with Ron Taylor, Vice President of Franchise Development from Sandler Training, here to tell us a little bit more about his franchise, about sales training, and what we can learn as potential franchisees, people who already own franchises and are trying to become better business people all around. Ron, thanks for taking the time out of your day.

Ron Taylor, Sandler Training: Matt, no problem. I appreciate it.

Matt Wilson, FranchiseHelp: So, tell me a little bit. Let's jump right into it. Tell me a little bit about Sandler Training and why someone would want to be a sales trainer through you guys instead of just being a sales trainer on their own.

Ron Taylor, Sandler Training: Sure. Sandler is about a 29 year old sales and management training franchise. We have about 180 franchises in the U.S. and Canada, and then I think close to 65 more now in 27 other countries, who, as you know, they teach, train, coach, counsel. They teach a very sophisticated selling approach, a lot of people skills, a lot of psychology. But basically it's training salespeople how to sell. This business is for someone who loves to sell and likes to train, probably in that order.

Matt Wilson, FranchiseHelp: Okay. So what kind of experience do you need to become a Sandler trainer?

Ron Taylor, Sandler Training: In reality, Matt, they need to be someone who has probably been in business to business sales, whether it's insurance, real estate, computer sales, health care, financial services, telecom. They've carried a briefcase. They're probably what I call a corporate misfit who's burned out on traveling and burned out on babysitting employees and wants to be home at night, home on the weekends, and actually have a life.

Matt Wilson, FranchiseHelp: Okay. So what kind of flexibility does this allow you? I mean, people are starting a real business here. Are they going to be working 18 hour days? Is it up to their discretion? How does that work?

Ron Taylor, Sandler Training: That's the beauty of being in your own business. You control your own schedule. In the beginning, they're going to be spending, I think, as in any business, finding clients. That's the key. Doing the behaviors. Going out and doing whatever to find clients, and of course we help them to do that. And then over a period of time, they start doing more training, and ultimately, we want them to build a business, have people working for them.

Matt Wilson, FranchiseHelp: Okay. So, if I'm a Sandler trainer, how do I go about getting my first clients? Who are they and where do I find them?

Ron Taylor, Sandler Training: Sure. Well, we help them in our initial training to know where to get those people and how to get off to a quick start. But we do things like direct mail campaigns. We actually sign them up to some e-mail campaigns like Swiftpage and ZoomInfo to get in front of the right people, in front of the right companies.

Ron Taylor, Sandler Training: Our target market is small to mid-sized companies that don't have their own in-house training staff. Later on, major corporations. But in the beginning, small to mid-sized companies. So we help them to do that. We teach them networking speeches, what we call executive briefings, association talks, getting in front of decision makers, talk about Sandler, what makes us different. Radio, newspaper. Of course they have their own website, which is a site run off of And yeah, they're going to pick up the phone and dial people who have never heard of them before.

Matt Wilson, FranchiseHelp: Okay. So, now you're talking small to mid-sized businesses, real estate companies and insurance companies, those types of BtoB sellers?

Ron Taylor, Sandler Training: Yeah. It could be. It's really anyone who is a service industry.

Ron Taylor, Sandler Training: We don't do a lot in the retail business other than customer service, but we do a lot of work with BtoB sales.

Matt Wilson, FranchiseHelp: All right. So before, you said Sandler Training is the best. Why is it the best? What tools, what edge up on everybody else out there do you give them?

Ron Taylor, Sandler Training: Yeah. We've been rated the number one training franchise in America nine times by Entrepreneur Magazine, including 2010. The Wall Street Journal ranked us one of the top 25 high performing franchises. Dun & Bradstreet ranked us the number one management training franchise for the last two years. Here's what we think makes us different. Two things. One, we're the only training company, at least that we know of, that does ongoing reinforcement training. Most of the training that's out there is more one or two day, quick fix training.

Ron Taylor, Sandler Training: Unfortunately, as we know, psychologists say 50% of what you hear, you forget in 48 hours.

Ron Taylor, Sandler Training: So we've got to have reinforcement. So we are really known for reinforcement. And then second, we just don't look like the traditional salesperson that's out there. David Sandler said, "Look at what the traditional salesperson does, and you do 180 degrees opposite." So we do a lot of reinforcement training. We do more reinforcement even online. We have a Sandler iPhone app for people who want to go on to get that style of training. Or we have a Sandler online tool. It will never take away from the face to face training that we do, but it is reinforcement training as we move into this new world where everything is online.

Matt Wilson, FranchiseHelp: Okay, great. So you can get online. Tell us about the face to face real quick. Are there retreats? Are there seminars that you can go to? What's that about?

Ron Taylor, Sandler Training: That's called President's Club training.

Ron Taylor, Sandler Training: Our franchisees have an office where small to mid-sized companies come to them. They pay them a one-time fee on a per person basis, and then every week, these people come to the training. When a franchisee walks into their training room, they may have everyone from all different industries and all walks of life. We're not teaching them product knowledge. We're teaching them the attitudes, behaviors, and techniques of how to sell. So it doesn't matter who's in there. And then these people come back, almost like a health club, where they pay a one-time fee, but they come see our trainers every week.

Matt Wilson, FranchiseHelp: I see. I see. Okay. So, this company is rich in tradition. You've been there for 18 years. David Sandler started this in the '70s or in the '80s, I believe. Tell us a little bit more about their tradition and how you've been able to breed tons and tons of great sales trainers.

Ron Taylor, Sandler Training: Well, here's the key. David Sandler left people in charge of this company when he passed. He left David Mattson, who is the CEO of this company, is a brilliant individual. Bruce Seidman is the President of the company. Between the two of them, they have taken us to a whole new level, to the point now where, again, we're in 27 countries. We're in many different languages. So that we're working with major corporations, not only all over the U.S., but all over the world. So when franchisees join us, these are people who came out of the corporate world. They know how to talk to corporate decision makers. Now the difference is instead of having a cap on their income, they get to come into a business where the world is their oyster. They can decide how much money they want to make based on their behaviors.

Matt Wilson, FranchiseHelp: That's fantastic. And for those people who are out there watching this that say, "Maybe I don't want to be a sales trainer. I'm not really sure." Let's just give everybody one piece of advice on sales training that they can take and have an actionable step when they go home and they start selling.

Ron Taylor, Sandler Training: Well, here's the key. It's not about features and benefits. It's about finding what we called in Sandler terms, finding their pain, finding out the problems. People buy from people that are like them, people that they're like. You've got to be able to bond with your client. You need to be able to find out, right up front, do they have a budget, are you talking to the decision maker, and do they have a need for what you have. Most people, as David Sandler said, they spill their candy in the lobby. They give all their information away too early. With Sandler, they find how to qualify very quickly.

Matt Wilson, FranchiseHelp: Interesting. I like the approach. Ron, thank you very much for taking the time to talk to us today.

Ron Taylor, Sandler Training: Thank you, Matt. Appreciate it.

Matt Wilson, FranchiseHelp: We'll have more information up on Ron Taylor, the Vice President of Franchising at Sandler Training. I'm Matt Wilson, and this is

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