By Roger P. Levin, DDS
Sales is ultimately about communication and persuasion. The words you use have tremendous impact on others. At least you hope so. You can improve your communication skills with a few simple changes. In the end, the way you say things will have a dramatic impact on doctor loyalty, referrals, and overall sales. To succeed as a sales representative, you need to develop a high level of trust with your customers. Trust opens doors, literally and figuratively.
The reason? People tend to place their trust in individuals they like.
The formula for superior communication is:
- People are attracted to positive and enthusiastic people.
- People often judge others not only by appearance and body language, but also by how they talk and the words they use.
- The language used by the sales representative will have a direct impact on perceptions by doctors and team members.
- Positive language makes it easier for the practice to like the sales rep.
- Liking the sales rep leads to trust.
- People who trust the sales rep will tend to order more supplies and equipment.
- The more people who trust the sales rep, the higher the level of sales.
After consulting to thousands of dentists and specialists, Levin Group has observed how positive communication can improve the dynamic between practices and sales reps. Dentists and their teams respond positively to upbeat, enthusiastic individuals. To improve customer service and increase sales, sales reps should regularly review their presentation skills and accompanying body language. Even good salespeople can get better.
One of the most effective communication tools is the use of benefit statements. For any product or technology, large or small, you should be able to provide the top three benefits at a moment’s notice. Admittedly, this can be a difficult task, considering the large number of products many distributors carry, but knowing the top three benefits should be a goal. Will dentists experience more convenience? Less stress? Reduced overhead? Discovering what motivates clients to accept recommendations is at the heart of sales.
While dentists do want to be reassured that new products have been clinically tested and proven to be effective, doctors are far more interested in how the product will improve care, increase productivity and efficiency, drive case acceptance, and generally benefit the practice.
Include clinical and research articles as part of your sales packet, but don’t make them the cornerstone of your sales pitch.
Benefit statements work well because they create a high level of interest and provide a future focus for the practice. One suggestion is to identify the three major benefits of a product or service and repeat them at different points throughout a conversation with a dentist. Adult learning specialists at Levin Group confirm that adults learn in sets of three and that key facts should be repeated at least three times. This reinforcement of benefits is highly conducive to successful selling.
Verbal skills and effective communication can enhance any business and increase overall customer satisfaction. A positive demeanor helps you get your foot in the door and build trust with your client. Always keep in mind the top three benefits for each product or piece of equipment. Your clients will thank you — with their pocketbooks!
Roger P. Levin, DDS, is founder and CEO of Levin Group, a leading dental management consulting firm that is dedicated to improving the lives of dentists through a diverse portfolio of lifetime services and solutions. Since the company’s inception in 1985, Dr. Levin has worked to bring the business world to dentistry. Levin Group may be reached at (888) 973-0000, or at www.levingroup.com.