Several Sales Lessons from my Doctor

I've been seeing the same primary care physician for many years. Years ago, when we were both young bucks, I would schedule an appointment when I was sick. On one of these visits, he said, "I want you to start having annual physicals so that I have a baseline. If you don't want to have an annual physical, find yourself another doctor." I scheduled my physical and that's the day that he moved from vendor to trusted adviser.

Do you do that to your prospects and clients?

Over the years, I've been in reasonably good health. I have a few numbers that we watch that have been creeping in the wrong direction as we both get older and as I've become more sedentary including my weight. So, we usually look at the numbers every three or four months. On December 31, he recommended diet and exercise to lose weight and I agreed.

bad news resized 600

I saw him April 30th and had gained 3 pounds. He looked at me with a puzzled look on his face and said, "That's the wrong direction." Duh! Then I started making all kinds of excuses and my excuses triggered a series of questions and by the time I finished with my excuses and he finished with his questions, we both had a clear picture of what the issue(s) was. (Where did he learn to do that?)

Do you let your prospects and clients talk and do you ask questions until they've totally identified the problem WITHOUT you diagnosing the problem for them?

At one point, he asked me about drinking and I told him that I have a couple of glasses of wine most days. He put a very apologetic look on his face and said, "Studies tell doctors that patients typically under report. So, when they say 2, they sometimes mean 5." Did he just call me a liar? I knew it. He knew it and now you know it, but his delivery made it impossible for me to be upset.

Can you tell your prospects and clients that you know the truth without upsetting them?

We agreed that I have two months to get my act together and I started the next day.

If you want to learn how to sell like my doctor, here's a good place to start.


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