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How to win by thinking like a doctor

Article by Mike Anderson (NSBC Founder & CEO)

Have you ever had a doctor try to sell you on a medical procedure before examining you? Of course not. Doctors ask questions and listen carefully to diagnose the problem first. Poor and average salespeople, on the other hand, jump into pitching their solution before the prospect talks about their pain points.

Let’s take a look at eight powerful tips adopted by the world’s top rainmakers:

Tip # 1 – Stop thinking like a salesperson and start thinking like a doctor

Slow down and focus on understanding your prospect’s pain points. This will project you as an expert in the eyes of your prospect. Start to drop your tone of voice, ask thoughtful questions, and adopt a more genuine approach. The focus here is to identify pain points by asking the right questions and then demonstrating how you can solve your prospect’s problems and take their pain away.

Tip # 2 – Learn to disqualify

At least 50% of prospects aren’t a good fit for your offering. Maybe they don’t have the necessary budget, or they simply don’t face the right challenges. Instead of trying to persuade a bad fit to buy from you, disqualify and move on. The world’s top salespeople spend the majority of their time on the right prospects. You can only do this if you’re willing to walk away from the wrong ones.

Tip # 3 – Talk less

Think about your average sales meeting. Do you talk for more than 15% of the interaction? If so, you’re talking too much. Expert salespeople listen more than they talk. You’ll never discover what your prospects need if you do all the talking. Instead, ask strategic questions and listen carefully to understand what’s motivating your customer.

Tip # 4 – Sell to decision makers

If you’re going to join the top 5% of sales people, you must stop selling to low and mid-level management. These prospects simply don’t have the power or budget to buy from you. That’s why successful salespeople don’t waste their time on non-decision makers. Focus your efforts on connecting with prospects who are capable of investing in your solution.

Tip # 5 – Focus on money-making tasks

Some tasks are directly linked to making money, such as prospecting, following up with key customers, and securing meetings. Do those things. All the busywork that won’t increase your profits should be outsourced to someone else. Successful salespeople only spend time on tasks that actually make money.

Tip # 6 – Always project success and confidence

We all know what it’s like to need a sale to pay the bills. But even in the most extreme scenarios, never act desperate. In every sales meeting, you should appear financially secure, successful, and confident. When a prospect believes you don’t need them, they’ll be much more attracted to you and more inclined to trust what you have to say.

Tip # 7 – Go after the big sales

Average salespeople often close many more deals than top performers but they often make less money than top sales people. The secret lies in focusing on the quality of sales, not the quantity. Successful salespeople only go after really big sales. They often require the same amount of work as the small ones, but they come with a much bigger pay-out.

Tip # 8 – Focus on referrals

When most salespeople close a sale, they go after the next opportunity. The world’s top salespeople don’t do that. Instead, they leverage each new customer into another valuable prospect. Rather than cold calling new leads, rely on existing customers for introductions to keep your sales pipeline full.

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