My late mother taught me about courtesy, punctuality and about respecting other people’s time. In the world of sales, this has turned out to be brilliant advise! You can make an appointment with me for 11am on May 5 next year and you won’t need to remind me; I’ll just be there.
My late father was a doctor. An old-fashioned one at that because he genuinely cared about his patients well-being.
While I didn’t recognise it at the time, his response to the question I asked as a teenager has guided me through the world of sales and marketing to an extent he would have never believed. It rings true to this day.
I asked him what made a good doctor.
Here’s what he said…
“Remembering that prescription without diagnosis is malpractice.”
He went on to explain that if he were to make assumptions about a patient’s medical problem he could easily diagnose the wrong complaint and prescribe the wrong treatment of medication. He added that one more question never hurt anyone but too few could.
Hows has this helped me in a business?
I never suggest a solution without first doing the best I can to understand the problem.
Unfortunately on an almost daily basis I see people blindly pitching without considering the client’s situation. It happened to me this week when someone took almost 2 hours of my time to seemingly gain my trust then without asking, pitched something to me instead of first asking some qualifying questions. I was deeply annoyed and he lost many trust points in my eyes.
If you truly want to master the skill of selling, start by learning how to ask better questions and listening to the answers before you formulate and ask your next question. This simple practice has resulted in millions of dollars in sales for me and those clients who I have taught how to do it.
Once you can truly understand the client’s situation you can look to see if it is unique to him or symptomatic of that kind of business. If it’s symptomatic, test by asking others in the niche if they have the same problem. If so, you have a powerful marketing message at your fingertips…