By Louis Malcmacher, DDS, MAGD
When you make a sale, the first thing you do is celebrate the victory. That’s fine for a minute or two, but then you have to make more sales.
What you should do after a sale is determine how the sale was made, and why the dentist bought from you. This critical information will lead you to the next sale in half the time or less.
Here are sales words to live by: If they like you, and they believe you, and they have confidence in you, and they trust you — then they will probably buy from you again.
The dentist bought because he or she trusted you, but in order for you to gain that trust, that dentist first had to like you and believe you and have confidence in you. If those three elements were not present, trust enough to purchase would not have followed.
In sales, trust or no trust, sometimes dentists just take the lowest price — that is just the way it is, so live with it. If you really analyze your sales and your dentist customers, you will realize that, while they try to get the best and lowest price from you, most of your dentists could have bought something similar to what you are selling at a lower price but they didn’t — they trusted you!
In sales and business relationships, why does one person trust another? Trust is a perception and a realization. The prospective dentist bases trust on initial feelings and perceptions, with value perception being very important. If prospects feel value, they will believe, have confidence, and maybe even purchase.
Relationships are based on trust. Engagements, interactions, words, and deeds over time build that trust. They’re based on a past history of performance. Trust is not given; it is earned. Trust is not earned in a day; it’s earned day by day.
If you are only in this for the short run, then price becomes the main issue. If you are in this for the long run, you will always find that trust and relationship beat price hands down.
It may take two years to earn trust, but it only takes one minute to lose it … and the difference is just two letters — “un,” meaning something is a truth or an untruth.
Why do you trust somebody? Think about the criteria that creates permission to trust someone else, then think of the people you trust and ask, “Why do I trust him or her?” Is it reliability, consistency, and/or a long-term friendship? Is he or she a giving, truthful, and/or understanding person? Is he or she a person whose words, thoughts, and deeds can be relied upon in times of need? Is this someone who performs these things for you without any motive, agenda, or expectation of something in return?
Trust is not complex. Many of the reasons you trust others can help you in your own game plan to become trustworthy and a much better person (and salesperson).
Here are some simple elements of trust that you must master in order to make it possible for a relationship to blossom:
Tell the truth. This is the number one element of trust AND relationships. Once truth has been violated, trust evaporates and may never return.
Deliver what you promise. People hope and expect you to deliver on promises.
Do what you say you will do. This is a test for being reliable and trustworthy.
Communicate in a timely manner. Rapid response shows you are responsible, on top of it, and that you care. So many sales are lost because of slow response time.
Bring value beyond your product or service. What you do to help others be more successful is a true reflection of your character.
Be on time. Being on time shows you respect the other person’s time. It also proves your reliability.
Be friendly. Smiling people are the gateway to open communication. It costs no extra money to be friendly. Dentistry is all about smiles so you better have a good one.
Be appreciative of their business. Showing and saying genuine thanks will not only build a relationship, but will also enhance loyalty.
Be grateful for the opportunity to be of service. If you have a service-oriented heart and love to serve others, you will build trust with every action.
In sales, business, and personal relationships of all kinds, trust is the critical element. It’s the glue that binds all the other elements together. Without it, the relationship will fade, diminish, or die.
I trust you will work on becoming the best you can be.
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 speaks to thousands of dental professionals every year, so he has very unique insight into the dental market and how to interact with the dental customer. For the last 25 years, he has intensively trained sales teams and done marketing consulting with dental companies. Dr. Malcmacher can be reached at (440) 892-1810 or [email protected]. He offers a free e-mail newsletter for dental company representatives, which you can sign up for at his Web site, www.commonsensedentistry.com.