“Making the shift from order taker to sale doctor is going to help you win more deals because it differentiates you.” – Forrest Dombrow in today’s Tip 959
Are you making a shift from order taker to sales doctor?
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Scott Ingram: You’re listening to the Daily Sales Tips podcast and I’m your host, Scott Ingram. Today’s tip comes from Forrest Dombrow. Forrest is a sales consultant at Solve Sales, a marketing and sales consultancy helping agencies get new leads and more clients. He was also named one of the Online Marketing Institute’s Top 40 Digital Strategists in Marketing and has over 17 years of experience as a sales consultant in this space. Here he is:
Forrest Dombrow: If you’re hungry and you walk into McDonald’s and look up at the menu, you decide what you want and you tell the cashier what you’d like to order. The McDonald’s cashier is not really a salesperson or an order taker. Now, imagine for a second you went into your doctor’s office and said, “Hey Doc, I’ve had a headache for two days and a temperature. Please prescribe me some amoxicillin and painkillers.” The doctor would be laughing, right? Because the doctor is not an order taker basically a strategic consultant. Their job is to find out what’s actually wrong with you and prescribe the right solution, not just whatever it is the patient asks for.
The same thing is true in selling more complex business services, such as digital marketing software, anything where there’s really a strategic component, maybe there’s some customization, or the customers maybe aren’t super familiar with what it is that you’re selling. For example, we work with a lot of digital marketing agencies to sell online advertising services, SEO, website development, things of that nature.
Now, while customers may know what those things are at a high level, a lot of them aren’t well versed in how SEO really works or what makes a good ad campaign. So they’re not super familiar with what they’re buying. And in a lot of cases, they’ll come in, call the salesperson and say, “Hey, we need some link building for SEO.” Maybe they do, maybe they don’t. Maybe they know, maybe they’re not really not sure. And so what we want to do is make a mindset shift from order taker to what I call strategic sales doctor. And the way we do that is by acting like a doctor. Right? So we don’t just assume that the people that call us know what they need. We use a diagnosis process, not a haphazard one, but something that’s somewhat formalized. Flexible, yes, but formalized. For example, when you go to the doctor, they don’t just make up the process right there. They know they’re going to take your blood pressure. They’re going to take your temperature. There’s some standard things they do. And so when you’re acting like a sales doctor, as opposed to just an order taker, you’re gonna do the same thing.
And you have two basic tools, just like a doctor. The first is you’re going to ask probing questions. So if someone calls up and says, “We want our Google ads campaigns aren’t working well, we’re looking for some help.” You can ask questions. What’s going on? Who’s running these campaigns. What kind of results are you seeing? Why do you think it’s not working? You dig in a little bit. You probe just like a doctor would. How long have you had a headache? How high was your temperature? Things like that.
The second tool you’re going to use is what we call sales engineering. Just like a doctor, you gotta do some research. So if you come in and complain about maybe have some pain in your leg, you might say, “Okay, let me ask you some questions and then say, Well, we need to go and get an X-ray to really take a look.” So you’re going to do the same sort of thing, if that’s appropriate for your sales process. You start with the probing questions and then to continue our example of say, Google ads, you might say, “Okay, great. I have enough information. Please give me access to your account. Let our team poke around and kind of quote, take an X-ray and see what’s really going on.” And what you’re trying to do ultimately is look for root causes of the pain and problems that your customers are calling about. They want a solution, and you need to dig in and ask good questions and do your research so you can come back. And just like a good doctor would give it to them straight. “Hey, you know what it turns out, what you thought you needed is not what you need. Here’s what you need, or I have some bad news. You don’t just need that. You need three things. So maybe your Google ads do need to be improved, but also your landing pages need to be improved as well.”
So you want to give them the straight dope. You want to give them a complete solution. And you can only do that if you ask good questions and done your research. And so making the shift from order taker to sales doctor is going to help you win more deals because it differentiates you. You’re going to come across a lot more thoughtful. And it’s a really powerful mindset and set of tools that you can use to improve your sales conversion rates and commissions.
Once you’ve done that, be sure to come back tomorrow for another great sales tip. Thanks for listening!