What is the Sandler Pain Funnel?

Sandler’s Pain Funnel is a strategically organized series of questions that a door to door salesman can use to uncover a prospect’s pain points. By asking these questions, you can uncover the ways you can shift your pitch to better cater to your prospect’s needs. In the process, you may even uncover that a prospect isn’t experiencing a pain that you can alleviate — which can be good news, since you will save yourself a lot of time and move on to someone else.

What to Ask & How to Ask It

You can tailor the Sandler Pain Funnel questions to your needs, choosing the questions that best fit your situation. Asking your prospect about common issues your product or service can solve is a great way to uncover customer pain points. Once you understand your prospect’s frustrations, you can better explain how what you offer can help them solve their challenges.

Sales Tip #4: Know What You’re Offering Forwards and Backwards

It needs to be said: if you’re going door-to-door trying to make a sale, you need to know your offering like the back of your hand.

The reasoning for this is two-fold: first, you’ll be able to answer any off-the-wall question a prospect throws your way; and second, you’ll know you can answer any off-the-wall question a prospect throws your way.

What do we mean by that second point? Confidence is an essential sales tool. If you know that you know you’re offering, you’ll pitch differently. You’ll be able to adapt to the specific needs of this prospect, you won’t be afraid to explore the pieces of your offering that relate most to the prospect, and you’ll be able to negotiate seamlessly before the prospect even realizes you’re negotiating.

Many salespeople like writing themselves a script, which is completely fine to do. However, you never want to sound like you’re reading off a sheet of paper. Instead, use the writing process to figure out what you’re trying to say, and then treat it as a guideline.

Use Storytelling to Hook Your Prospect

The more you can make your pitch feel like a conversation, the more success you’ll have—even if it’s technically your “presentation” portion of the pitch.

This doesn’t mean you need to “once upon a time” your pitch. Storytelling is about crafting a narrative and involving your prospect in it. Use yes-or-no questions to get them talking, like:

  • (Pain point) is super inconvenient, right?
  • (Benefit) would be awesome, wouldn’t it?
  • It would be great if (solution) existed, don’t you think?

The trick is that the answer should always be “yes.” Psychology says that more you can get them to say “yes,” the better—it primes their brain for saying “yes” to your big offer.

You can also try asking open-ended questions, like:

  • What’s your biggest pain point from day to day now?
  • Is there a problem you are trying to solve?
  • What are you in the market for currently?

Stay Benefits-Focused

It’s a core principle of all selling—ditch the “features” and talk about the “benefits” instead. Tell the prospect exactly why their life will be better if they take you up on your offer, whatever it is.

Instead of saying “Our vacuum has a super battery 3000,” say “Don’t you hate when you’re vacuuming and you have to constantly switch from outlet to outlet? With our vacuum, you can move freely thanks to the battery 3000. No more plugging in.”

From his success on the sales floor of an automotive dealership  to becoming a veteran trainer and then the adoption of technology for Internet-based marketing, his career has evolved to deliver the skills and tools needed to help consumers. Richie Bello combined his automotive expertise with his robust desire to “take care of the customer first” to become an automotive influencer, published author, and renowned trainer.  Bello absorbed the wants and needs of consumers as he worked up the ladder of the automotive industry.

Over the thirty-five years of his career, he developed strong Internet marketing skills, leading him to developing software solutions that create ease for consumers, and helps dealers improve relationships with customers. Innovation drives success. And, for Bello, it’s in his DNA. took years to come to consumers and arrived in a timely manner, during the 2020 Pandemic. With over 6 million vehicles on the site, features that help consumers deliver, finance and warranty, Bello has met the retail digital age head on.

Bello also is founder of Richie Bello Institute of Leadership and Management, a 501C3 not for profit, dedicated to the recruitment, education and employment of veterans into the automotive industry. Visit


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