Sell like a doctor – Prescriptive Sales

Whether we like it or not, we are all salespersons in our daily lives. Be it when we discuss where to go for holidays with our partner. When we want our kids to have good eating habits. Or when we have an idea / concept that we want to bring to our working colleagues. We are always selling. Few of us though have perfected the art of it like your everyday doctor. How many times have you rejected your doctor’s recommendation? Why is it that we so adamantly follow through on his/her advice?

Think about it from a Sales point of view. We commonly see our doctor as an expert in his field who will prescribe us whatever will help us best solve our problem. He comes across as highly credible with our best interest at heart – something many salespeople fail to even get close to. Like a good sales meeting, the typical medical appointment is first started with some genuine rapport building. The doctor then discusses the situation of the patient (of course prepared for by going beforehand through the patient record) and starts to ask neutral questions to identify his patients sickness and symptoms or what we would call it in Sales, pain point and implications. Once identified, the doctor will prescribe us a solution in order to get healthy again while answering any of your questions. Unlike many salespeople he will not tell you how great the prescribed medicine is, but rather outline how you have to use it in order to improve your condition.

This approach is what Sales leaders call “Prescriptive Sales” and was shown to be highly effective. The doctor gives a clear recommendation to solve the identified problem but never comes across as an aggressive seller. We humans react negatively if we perceive our ability to freely choose is limited by someone else aka a salesperson pressuring us to purchase something. This is a well documented behavior pattern psychologists call Reactance. With all of that in mind, next time you sell, trigger your inner doctor instead of your inner salesman. Happy selling!

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