How do you compare doctors with salespeople? People have a perception of a salesperson as a pushy person trying to convince someone to buy something he or she does not need. If you have been a buyer you know the stress involved in going into a car showroom to buy your next car. With these images in mind it is no wonder that people are reluctant to become salespeople.
Now what is your perception of your doctor when you have a problem or a pain? If you are going because of stress, anxiety, or pain you are looking for the doctor to relieve your pain and solve your problem. This is the exact opposite image that you might feel about sales? Is it the profession or is it something else? It is something else and here is why.
If you visit your doctor because you have a pain in your back the doctor does a complete examination and asks you many questions including, “Where does it Hurt? How long has it hurt?, What activity were you doing?” and so on. She may then suggest some of the possible causes such as a pinched nerve. Then she asks if you have experienced unusual activity that might be related to your pain. She is helping you discover the root cause of your pain so that you will understand the need for a prescribed treatment. No surprise. These were your expectations when you came in. You did not expect her to greet you at the door and say, “You are in luck today because we are running a special on back surgery. Get one back surgery now and get 50% off on a future knee replacement.”
Persuading people to buy from you is no different. It has been said that people do not like to be sold but they sure like to buy. Doesn’t it make sense then to assist the client with the buying decision rather than selling them something?
In the past salespeople were taught to concentrate on making the sale and closing the sale. Since today’s buyers are no longer willing to be sold do you wonder why you experience resistance? Instead of being the salesperson you should become the assistant buyer. You are assisting your prospect in determining her wants and needs and, only then, are you offering solutions. Ask questions like a doctor in diagnosing her needs.
Listen to your prospect’s wants and needs. Then ask some REWARD questions. For example, how will this new computer system improve your department’s on time performance? How will on time performance of your department affect the company’s overall performance? How will that affect you? Next ask some CONSEQUENCE questions. For example, what will happen to your department’s performance if you don’t upgrade the computer system? Will that affect company performance? What problems might you have explaining poor performance to management?
By alternating questions you are assisting your prospect in diagnosing pain and deciding on the right solution. Congratulations. You are a sales doctor.