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Could you imagine going into a doctor with knee pain and, instead of the doctor asking you a number of questions to diagnose the problem, she started telling you how great she is at fixing knee problems? Going through her awards on how great she is in her specialty? She may hang them on the wall but she certainly doesn’t use them in a sales pitch. What if she did a PowerPoint presentation on how she fixes knees? 

My first instinct would be to question this physician’s credibility. I believe it’s when she would start asking a number of diagnostic questions, some I would never think of, that she would start building credibility.  Unfortunately most amateur sales people take the approach of “let me show you how we can…” without first diagnosing the problem.

We are in a very polarized selling environment today. People are holding on tight to their money and salespeople are pressing more than ever. Something has to give. Prospects are much savvier at buying products and services because they know a great deal about what you’re selling thanks to the internet. Using old school sales approaches, like showing up and educating the prospect has little value to a prospect that already knows a great deal about what you’re selling. So what are prospects looking for today? They are looking for the doctor, the expert at diagnosing and treating the problem. They’re looking to have an adult-adult business conversation.

I’m not big into scripts for selling but here are a few rules to go by in order to assure that you are being the diagnostician:

  • During the meeting your prospect says, “good question” or “I never thought about that” frequently
  • Your prospect talks twice as much as you
  • You hear words like “frustrated, worried, concerned or angry” relative to the problem the prospect is sharing with you
  • Your meeting lasts more than 1.5 hours
  • At the end of the meeting they have a sense of urgency to fix their problem

Debrief your last sales call….how many of these can you check off?

- Jim Mattei


Executive Workshop Join us for this two hour interactive workshop. You will discover strategies to effectively manage your salespeople past the barriers that have been holding them back and onto the success they want and the success your business deserves. Learn More >>

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