A salesperson is a problem solver. Diagnosing the prospect effectuates solving problems and problem-solving leads to sales.  

Doctors diagnose, treat and cure.  They want to find the root cause of a condition instead of just treating the symptoms.  A doctor will never cure the problem without a proper diagnosis.  No principle could be truer in the world of selling, but so seldom practiced.  Salespeople must learn to diagnose, prescribe and cure the pain of their customers and prospects.  Doctors are trustworthy and believable.  Their main focus is to relieve pain and suffering, and then to promote wellness.  Selling is not an event, but rather a process built on trust.  Just as in medicine, your customers and prospects deserve a thorough diagnosis combined with the best prescription for a cure.

As salespeople, you wear the title of Doctor of Sales.  You need to put your focus on the patient.  Your responsibility is to properly diagnose their needs and then prescribe the proper cure.  Contrary to the actions of most salespeople, your focus is not to make a sale, but rather, to solve problems with your products and services.  If you are unable to provide the proper care and treatment, you must do the same thing a doctor would do.  You must refer your prospect or customer to a specialist who can better care for their particular situation.  You may lose the opportunity to make a sale, but you will forever gain the trust and respect of your prospect.  When they have a future need, they will contact you because of your integrity.

You must earn the trust and respect of your prospects.  If you take a selfish position and try to force fit your product to meet their need, you will lose their respect.  When you put the focus on them and not yourself, you will be rewarded with the sale.  If you put the focus on the sale, they will lose respect for you and look else where for a solution.  You need to reprogram your sales approach to the customer or prospect, not your pocketbook.  Just as animals can sense fear, customers can sense motive.  Once again, let me make it clear.  Selling is all about solving the customer’s needs with the right solution, not about making a sale.  The sale will come naturally as a result of taking care of the customer.  The hidden advantage of this approach is trust and loyalty.  The best way to find success in selling is to build a loyal customer base.  A loyal customer base is established through focusing on the customer’s needs and presenting the very best solution, even if it means a referral to a more appropriate solution.  When you are willing to sacrifice the sale of your own product in order to provide the best solution for your customer, then you will be on the path to becoming a truly successful salesperson.

Here are five points to follow on the path to becoming a Doctor of Sales:

  1. Change your focus.  Become more interested in helping your customers and prospects solve their needs than in making a sale.  The sale will naturally follow once you have cured their pain.
  2. Never prescribe before you have diagnosed.  Understanding their pain (needs) is the first and most important thing you can do if your desire is to truly help your customers and prospects.
  3. When you understand their pain, prescribe the correct solution.  Never prescribe your product or service if it is not the best solution.  Making a sale will never justify prescribing an incorrect solution.
  4. Refer your customer or prospect to a specialist if their need is beyond the ability of your products and services.  In the world of medicine, a referral to a specialist has become a common practice in caring for the needs of the patient.
  5. Truly care about the people and companies you work with.  When they know how much you care, they will naturally reward you with their business.