We visit our doctor solve a problem. That problem has something to do with our health. Let’s say we have a pain in our knee. Our doctor does a thorough examination. She asks us questions such as, where does it hurt? How long has it hurt? She may then suggest some of the causes of such pain such as a torn tendon. Then she asks if you have experienced unusual activity that might be related to our knee pain. She is helping us discover the root cause of our pain so that we will understand the need for surgery, if necessary.  

If we are in sales, if we manage a team, or if we teach wouldn’t the doctor’s approach create the best results? According to Dan Pink in his book “To Sell is Human” we have gone from a world of Caveat Emptor (buyer beware) to one of Caveat Venditor (seller beware). Information is readily available on the Internet and sellers no longer have the upper hand. The old statement used in sales, “ABC (Always Be Closing)” has been replaced by consultative selling.

Now it is important to help identify needs and then assist the buyer in finding solutions. In the past salespeople were taught to concentrate on making the sale and closing the sale. However, today’s buyers are no longer willing to be sold. It has been said, however, that people do not like to be sold but they sure like to buy. Doesn’t it make sense then to assist the client in the buying decision rather than selling them something?

Look at it another way. What would you have done if the doctor came to the exam room and said we need to schedule surgery next week? You might have requested more time to get a second opinion.

Persuading people to buy from you is the same thing. 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 rather than applying pressure.

For example, a realtor is showing several houses that fulfill the stated wants and needs of the buyer. The buyer appears to fall in love with one home but then hesitates. The buyer wants to think it over. You want to make a sale so you suggest that the seller might be getting other offers and the home may not be available unless the buyer acts now. Although you might be correct about other offers, the buyer may react negatively to your pressure. You want to be seen as the person providing the solution to their desire for a dream home. As an alternative you might discuss the houses they have seen. Ask why they want the home they saw, would another home do just as well, what will they do if their offer is not accepted. You are the assistant buyer and you are providing solutions.


Providing solutions and being the assistant buyer will help you develop relationship that will lead to increased business.

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