Selling Power Blog

News & Insights for B2B Sales Leaders

December 18, 2023

A Simple Four-Step Approach to Mastering Sales

By Jeff Seeley, President and CEO, Carew International

At Carew International, we’re firm believers in the transformative power of simplicity and the impact of visualization. Our philosophy is rooted in the idea that the best way to cultivate lasting behavior change and ensure deep learning retention is through visual representations.

Our approach involves providing clear, adaptable models paired with straightforward strategies, empowering participants to walk away from our training with actionable behaviors, not just theoretical concepts. One of our most effective and resonant models is LAER: The Bonding Process® (LAER).

LAER, which stands for Listen, Acknowledge, Explore, and Respond, is a key technique for managing objections, easing tension, fostering relationships, and enhancing understanding in sales.


The cornerstone of LAER, active listening involves empathetic, attentive, and non-judgmental engagement with the customer. It’s more than just hearing words; it’s about showing interest, respect, and patience. Active listening demands full concentration and an authentic effort to grasp the customer’s perspective.


This is where you take credit for your listening! Acknowledging involves expressing support or restating the issue, sometimes through simple gestures like nods or verbal affirmations. Acknowledgment shows empathy and concern, reinforcing the bond with the customer. It’s important to note that acknowledging doesn’t necessarily mean agreeing with the customer’s viewpoint.


The exploratory phase is about diving deeper into the customer’s situation – uncovering their true Gap. It’s a process of gathering more information, clarifying, and verifying to understand better. This step is crucial but can be challenging, as it requires the salesperson to go beyond surface-level information – asking probing questions without seeming intrusive. The goal is to uncover underlying needs or resistance to ensure a more tailored sales presentation.


The final step, responding, comes after gaining a comprehensive understanding of the customer’s needs and concerns. This might involve several iterations of the LAE cycle to achieve the necessary clarity. The response could include a recommended solution, corrective action, or a proposed next step.

LAER isn’t just a technique; it’s a philosophy embedded in Carew’s sales training. It represents a commitment to understanding, empathy, and customer-centric selling. LAER is integral to effective selling, offering a structured yet flexible approach to various sales scenarios.

LAER serves as a holistic communication strategy. It enhances mutual understanding, establishes common ground, and significantly improves the quality of both customer and personal relationships.

For those interested in deepening their knowledge of LAER, effective selling skills, objection handling, relationship building, or exploring how Carew’s performance improvement strategies can benefit their organization, additional resources and Open Enrollment Workshop information are available on our website.

Headshot of Jeff Seeley

Today's blog is by Jeff Seeley, President and CEO of Carew International.