Doctors, Salespeople and Hammers

What a week! I don't even know where to start. Let's start with an article that Mark Roberge socialized.

He quotes, "Salespeople should be sought after in times of crisis, just as doctors are, and their diagnoses should be taken seriously." Let me start with.... No family wars here. I 100%, totally agree, but I have two buts.

First, is it realistic from the knowledge perspective? How long does that doctor go to school? Undergrad. Med school. Internship. Residency. and even then, is a doctor that just completed their residency as credible as a doctor that has been practicing for 5, 10, 20 years? Now, we've got this salesperson, fresh out of college, played hockey, did good, has a smart phone and laptop and 6 weeks of orientation and they're supposed to gain the respect of a Founder that's been in business for 20 years.

However, the other but is that some doctors suffer from some of the same stuff that salespeople do and consequently cannot be taken seriously for the same reason that many salespeople aren't sought after nor taken seriously.

True story.

On 5/20, I saw a doctor about hip pain. He ordered an xray and booked a consult with orthopedics.

On 5/23, I saw the hip surgeon. He asked a few questions. I told him about pain in my hip, leg and buttocks. He told me that the only pain that mattered was the hip pain. Then he showed me my xrays. Showed me how severe my Osteoarthritis was and left the room to bring in his demo stuff. A brand new metal ball and socket that would replace parts of my worn out hip. I left the visit in pain and bummed out that I had to figure out when to schedule surgery and do the rehab afterwards.

Two days later I sent the surgeon an email. "Can I get physical therapy to help stretch out some of the tightness in my leg/hip/buttock?" His assistant replied, "you have severe Osteoarthritis in hips. stiffness is from arthritis so PT will not gain any range of motion.  It would likely just cause discomfort."

On 5/30, I asked the surgeon, "Several people have asked me if you suggested that I take Glucosamine. I've read some about it. Do you have any thoughts or comments about it? Should I try it? Is there a downside?" He never replied. I started taking it. At this point, I had pretty much decided that he was not gonna cut me.

I had bad days and worse days, but generally improved over the next ten weeks. I now carry my walking stick for security more often than use it for support or balance. Also, friends have referred me to 4 hip surgeons that are rated better than the first guy.

On 8/12, I sent an email to my PCP. "May we discuss therapy for symptoms other than hip on my upcoming visit? May we also discuss second opinion on hip treatment? Perhaps: (I listed the 4 referrals that I had.)

I met with my PCP on 8/14. We talked. He poked. Prodded. Twisted. Asked questions. etc for an hour. He told me that he would be upset if a surgeon recommended surgery as the only option and he and I decided that physical therapy, gently increasing walking and weight loss would be the plan for the next two months and we'll revisit to determine if a surgical referral is necessary.

End of story for now.

I had a friend that used to say, "If all you have is a hammer, everything looks like a nail." Surgeons want to cut. Salespeople want to sell what they sell. However, a $40,000 surgery or $300 software aren't always the right solution for the customer and when it's not, neither make the world better.

So, ask yourself the question, "How can my salespeople become sought after and how do I want them to act when they are?"

Have you ever looked at how your people compare to others?


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