The Sandwich Technique: Does it Work or is it Detrimental?

On Wednesday June 5th, I posted a blog entitled “The Sandwich Technique”; I hope you’ll take a moment to read/reread it. Well…I wound up getting more flak on that post than any other I’ve written—a number of disagreeing tweets and emails, including one from a good friend and colleague in the STA Sales Mastermind Group; a man I greatly admire and respect. And in that email I was sent some articles supporting the anti-sandwich-technique point of view. Here are the links he sent me; I hope you’ll read all the material, so you can make an informed judgment for yourself:

http://blogs.hbr.org/cs/2013/04/the_sandwich_approach_undermin.html

http://artpetty.com/2009/05/07/why-i-hate-the-%E2%80%9Csandwich%E2%80%9D-technique-for-delivering-feedback/

http://www.rightattitudes.com/2008/02/22/sandwich-feedback-technique-ineffective/

http://aubreydaniels.com/oops-8-sandwich

Now, notwithstanding all the subjective anti-sandwich-technique material you’ve hopefully just perused through, I’m going to stand by my original post and still advocate its use. Why? Because of my own 40-years-worth of positive personal experience with it. As I said to my friend and colleague: “…in the hands of a competent individual, the technique works, and…I’m basing that on my own personal experience–I’ve used this technique, I believe, quite effectively for over 40 years, notwithstanding the subjective opinion of its merits by others.”

That said, I’ll add this: the key word in the above paragraph is “competent”; and it’s probably true that many of the arguments in the four articles would be valid, if the technique is “used” by an individual who could not effectively implement it, which could very well be over 90% of the selling profession.

Which brings me to this point: I write about what I know, which comes from my personal experience. I pass that on to you without regard to who can effectively use it or not. I certainly recognize that there are people in a position, sales managers, for example, who do not have that luxury; they have to be ultra careful re whom they’re passing their information on to. I write about what I’ve proved to myself works; but unless I personally coach or train you regarding it, it’s you who must have the wherewithal to effectively implement it.

So, in the end, I don’t think there’s a right or wrong about using the sandwich technique. The real question is one of competence. Now, that’s my subjective outlook; others will no doubt still disagree about its actual merits.

I’m a big fan of Voltaire: I may disagree with you, but I’ll fight to the death for your right to say it, so feel free to express your own subjective thoughts.

 

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