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  • Writer's pictureLance Tyson

Consider the Doctor’s Office: Selling as a Process of Diagnosis and Prescription - Continued

Updated: Dec 22, 2023

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In my previous post, I introduced the first three steps of my "Away-Game" selling process and how they directly mirror our experience at the doctor's office.  Each of these steps addresses some aspect of being in the buyer's mind – which is why it is so successful for sales professionals.  Previously we discussed the connect, evaluate, and diagnosis steps which are critical for moving toward a successful close.


As with the doctor, a diagnosis is just the beginning, and sometimes as a patient, we can be skeptical or unsure of the initial assessment.  That's where we start back up with the rest of the sales process and pick up with the prescribe step:


4. Prescribe


Once a doctor is sure of his or her diagnosis, they will prescribe something to address a health issue. They may say something along the lines of: “I’m going to give you Tylenol with codeine for that nasty sore throat. Stay away from beer and that John Deere while you’re taking it.” In sales, as with the doctor, you prescribe a solution that addresses the diagnosis you've made. You're tailoring it as much as we can to the specific needs of the buyer. At this point, the buyer will want to know: What is it? How does it work? Who says so besides you? And can you prove it? You're going to give the buyer precisely the right amount of information, and no more, about the solution, to convince them that they're justified in buying from you.


5. Dialogue


The deal isn’t done once the prescription is given. Not in the doctor’s office and not in sales. In the doctor’s office, you don’t just accept the prescription and start taking it. You’re going to want to understand the implications, the cause/effect, what will happen if you don’t accept the prescription, and what will happen if you do. Somewhere inside you, you may feel resistance to the prescription. You may want to put off taking it. The doctor’s going to need to have a conversation, however brief, that addresses these issues. In Away Game selling, there has to be a scenario where you’re asking the right questions to make sure the buyer understands what you’re suggesting. You’re talking with them to help them see how our product or service may help them now and in the future, asking questions like: “What do you like about this? What don’t you like about this?” In dialogue, you’re helping them to clarify.


6. Close


At this point, you’ve gone through connecting, diagnosis, prescription, and dialogue. Your objections have been addressed so that we won’t put off putting the prescription into practice. Now it’s time to close. The close is no more or less than an agreement to move forward with the prescription. In sales terms, it’s interchangeable with the commitment. This is what you’ve been working toward throughout the selling process and where you must overcome the last barrier in the buyer’s mind—indecision.


Like your experience at the doctor’s office, it’s a vetting process between both you as the patient and the doctor.  Remember that your patients – potential buyers – want their concerns understood, they want to feel validated.  At the same time, they want to feel confident in your product’s or service’s ability to address their concern. It’s your job as the “doctor” to make that happen.


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