Become a Doctor of Sales!

Today’s blog comes courtesy of a great book called Blink by Malcolm Gladwell.

There is a fascinating bit of research in there about doctors who get sued for malpractice in the US.

In the study a researcher listened to hundreds of recorded conversations with doctors and their patients: half of the doctors had never been sued and the other half had been sued at least twice.

What she found was there was no real difference in WHAT the doctors were saying to their patients; they all gave the same level of detail of their condition and ongoing treatment.

The difference between the two groups was HOW the doctors spoke to them.

The doctors who had never been sued used language like “First we’ll talk and then I’ll examine you” and “I’ll leave some time at the end for any questions you have” which gave the patients a sense of what they would get out of their visit.

They were often heard to say things like “Tell me more about that” and “What do you mean exactly?” to probe any underlying problems.

Also, the conversations would tend to be on average 3 minutes longer than with the doctors who had been sued.

So, the doctors who had never been sued were effectively the best consultants. And the doctors who got sued for malpractices? They were the ones who showed comparatively little interest in their patient’s condition and didn’t make those communication connections that are so important.

How can this help you sell?

Well, in the way that we are less likely to sue doctors if they take the time to build rapport, ask the right questions, care and listen before taking a view, we should also show those great consultation qualities.

If it’s you doing the selling the best advice is to hold back with the solution until you have completed the proper consultation process.

Start the process by asking intelligent questions about their situation, and delve deeper into their answers by following the doctors’ lead and saying things like “tell me more about that”. Become a Sales Doctor!

With effective consultation skills, your sales pitch can be tailored exactly to the customer’s needs while giving you the credibility that the best doctors enjoy.

In our sales training workshops we help you to consult with your clients in the same effective way. Give me a call if you would like to work on your consultation skills such as questioning, listening and taking a view. I would love to help!

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