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7 ways great salespeople are like Doctors


written by Natalie Davies

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Salespeople and doctors are more alike than you think. Here’s a list of seven successful traits that both share; read on to compare your bedside manner.

1. Salespeople are trustworthy

When you decided on a physician, I’m sure you didn’t just pick the first name at random. You researched it and found somebody you felt comfortable with. That same comfort level applies to successful salespeople. Just as a patient trusts his or her doctor, customers must trust their salespeople. Trust is essential in order to establish a reputation as a credible source for information.

2. Salespeople are knowledgeable

Doctors know a lot about the medical field and you know a lot about your product and the business market surrounding it. Just as doctors could name the muscles in the human body, you can name the features and benefits of your product.

You have valuable information that your prospects don’t have the time or ability to discover by themselves. You have a unique solution that they can’t get anywhere else, so position yourself as a selling doctor: someone who is well respected and knowledgeable about their field.

3. Salespeople question

How would you feel if every time you went to the doctor, he or she just prescribed you medicine without examining you or asking about your symptoms first?

Any reasonable person would question their doctor’s credentials. Doctors take the time to figure out your symptoms so they know best how to help. Salespeople, similarly, learn about the customer’s challenges and shortcomings in order to figure out how their product can enhance the client’s business.

4. Salespeople listen

As patients expect doctors to listen to them when they’re not feeling well, clients like to be heard when facing frustrating difficulties with their business. As a salesperson, listening is more than just comforting your client; you’re also gaining valuable information that increases the likelihood of a sale.

To do this, however, it’s important to ask the right questions in the first place, which takes us nicely onto the next point…

5. Salespeople diagnose

After doctors learn of patients’ symptoms, they can formulate a diagnosis. Doctors don’t prescribe a medication without first analyzing a patient’s symptoms; the diagnosis is essential to finding a solution. This is how doctors help.

Great salespeople also realize that they’re there to help. To do this, salespeople should determine wants, needs, ‘symptoms’ and then offer a ‘diagnosis’. The key to a proper diagnosis is understanding what the root of the problem is. Like doctors can understand symptoms and their root causes, good salespeople can understand deeper business problems and diagnose the underlying issue, like falling sales or competitor threats. Great salespeople also remember that, just as we patients sometimes think we know what’s wrong with us, prospects and customers sometimes think they know what’s best for their business. A great salesperson, however, through a combination of true listening and great expertise, can figure out whether or not the symptoms are actually just the tip of the iceberg.

6. Salespeople prescribe

At the end of an appointment, the doctor will most likely write a prescription. After questioning, listening and diagnosing, the doctor is now able to offer a solution.

Salespeople do the same thing for their customers. Once they understand their client’s issues, they’re able to propose the best-fitting solution, often in the form of their product or service. Emphasize the benefits of your product, just as a doctor would say “this antibiotic will get rid of the sinus infection” or “this cream will get rid of that rash”, you should be detailed about each feature and what ‘symptoms’ it cures.

7. Salespeople follow up

After prescribing medication, doctors schedule a follow-up. Physicians check in on their patients to see how they’re responding to the prescription.

Good salespeople do exactly the same; they follow up with their customers to see how they like the product. This shows concern for customers and strengthens the relationship with them.

Following up is one of the most important steps in keeping a client long term, having them come back to purchase again and having them recommend you to someone else, all of which is invaluable to any good salesperson.

Written By -

I'm another marketing bod here at sales-i (that is marketing exec come social secretary, branded wardrobe, stationary cupboard, fixer of the printer and chief maker of a terrible cup of tea). I get to work with the two delights that are Chris and Steve who have taken it upon themselves to educate me on all things football and Star Wars. I’m a Villa or Birmingham City fan depending on which of them you ask. I really rather enjoy reading and writing (I'm not that great at the maths thing, as Chris will tell you). What I lack in Star Wars and football knowledge, I make up for with a keen eye for a good wine and a great impression of a Wookie.

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