by Louis Malcmacher, DDS, MAGD
I’m certain that you have seen or heard information about different programs regarding how to sell. Many general selling programs teach you to put people into personality categories, then change your selling style depending upon the personality type. I have even seen selling systems that have a different “close” for each personality type. Some of the selling systems even convince you that there are ways to manipulate these different personality types so that they may want to buy your products.
These selling systems are so outdated and out of line with current sales thinking. Real selling comes back to the basics with current sales studies that you learned a long time ago. I can boil it down to two words that you read in Dale Carnegie’s book, “How to Win Friends and Influence People” — “Be yourself.”
Another problem with selling systems is that they teach you that this is the way that you’ve got to sell, but what if your customer doesn’t want to buy that way? You have created a huge conflict with the person that you are trying to impress.
You need to understand that when you sell to dentists, it is not about you or the way you sell; it is about the way your dentist customer buys. Each person has different motives for buying depending on his or her needs, practice, and personality. Every salesperson and dental representative I know has one or two basic presentations he or she uses to sell to dentists. You can’t use the same presentation all the time. That presentation needs to be adapted to meet the needs and personality of your dental customer without altering your personality or the basic foundation of “be yourself.”
Let me let you in on a little secret — understanding motives of what and why your dental customer buys is much more important than trying to figure out a selling system that may or may not relate to your customer. Figuring out why your dental customer buys is many times more powerful and important than how you sell to them. If you can uncover their motives through asking the right questions and couple that with being yourself, this will increase your sales skills exponentionally.
When I train dental sales teams on these concepts, I can almost see the light bulbs going on in each person’s mind. I also show them how to develop the right questions so they can uncover important motivations of what dentists want and how the dental company representative can help them achieve those goals.
One of my favorite things to do with dental representatives when they come in to try to sell me is to interrupt the flow of their presentation. I am not doing it to be mean, but I am doing it to test them to see if they are trying to sell me something or if they want to help me buy the things that I want. Now you will understand the subtle and important difference in how helping your dental customer buy should be your top goal.
Dr. Louis Malcmacher is a general and cosmetic dentist located in Bay Village, Ohio. He is also an evaluator for Clinical Research Associates as well as a consultant to the dental industry. Dr. Malcmacher is a well-known lecturer and author known for his comprehensive and entertaining style. He speaks to thousands of dental professionals every year. His lecture schedule can be seen at www.commonsensedentistry.com. He also intensively trains sales teams and does marketing consulting with dental companies and has been doing so for the last 25 years. Dr. Malcmacher can be reached at (440) 892-1810 or e-mail [email protected]. He offers a free e-mail newsletter to the dental industry and you can sign up at his Web site.