Cold Calling is an Expensive Waste of Time & Talent

As a Sales Coach working with dental companies for over two decades and more importantly as dental professional on the receiving end of many unexpected visits by sales reps, I am convinced, cold calling is a clear misdirection of resources.

You or your reps will be of far greater value to your company and your customers by being more strategic and discerning when making sales calls.

Let me give you three big reasons not to do Cold Calls:

  1. High Cost-: A typical field sales call in dental costs around $675. That is, your cost for a rep to turn the doorknob on any practice in their territory.
  2. Low Sales Potential: Our dental insider data suggests cold calling is a low ROI sales tactic. It takes between 8-10 attempts to meet someone with buying authority or buying influence in a dental office. And, at $675 per attempt, you can see why cold calling delivers high cost and low sales potential.
  3. Lowers Your Company Image: Dental team members negatively view reps/companies that make unscheduled visits or calls . I recently asked a dentist with a $2M practice in Phoenix, how he views cold calls from sales reps. He called them a “disrespectful intrusion”.

Check out this six-minute episode of The Sales Success Snippet to learn where to find high quality leads who are wanting, waiting and willing to hear more about your products and services.

One Critical Component of an Effective Sales Meeting

As we approach the fourth quarter for many companies, you might be thinking about your next sales meeting.

This week’s DII Sales Snippet is part of a recent coaching session with a sales manager wanting to make the most of his upcoming sales meeting. This episode zeroes in on one simple, yet critical and often missed piece of a successful sales meeting.

For more information on sales meetings, download my FREE article How to Leverage Sales Meetings for Better Performance[.

3 Simple Steps to Bring Dead Leads Back to Life

What if I told you that your “dead leads”, where actually your biggest and you’re your shortest path of new customers? You’d Say: “But, they’re DEAD!” They didn’t buy then…why in the world would they buy now?!”

If you’ve been frustrated by the limited sales results your leads have created…stay tuned, this podcast is for you!

It’s important to realize, your leads are not the problem. The problem is never the problem, it’s how you are thinking about the problem. 

Creating Results That Matter

A Small Weekly Habit That’s A BIG Game Changer

Each week, we get on a treadmill grinding it out Monday through Friday and rarely step back to reflect, “What got done?” or consider “Will what got done get me where I want to go?” Now is a great time to take stock, evaluate what’s working, what’s not and adopt a few new edits to our routine that will lead us closer to results that matter.

In this episode of The Dental Industry Insider Podcast, I’ll introduce you to a simple process that will make the most of your time and talent to boost your personal productivity.

You’ll gain greater clarity on results received, lessons learned and ensure nothing falls through the cracks on follow up. This simple ritual could quite literally 10x your results every single week!

Grab a copy of the FREE Results Review Recap  to lead you closer to reaching your goals and the rewards they deliver.

#007 Back to School Back to Work

How to Get Your Motivational Mojo Back after a Break in Routine

 

Sometimes it takes a little extra something to get up and out of a sluggish slump after a long vacation, slower summer months or the holidays. In this episode, you’ll learn a simple but powerful process for getting reengaged and back on track.

Understanding the Buyer Desire of a Dentist

 

Winning and keeping the attention of dentists to consider a new product is tougher and more expensive than it’s ever been. Marketers and sales professionals have had to get very creative to get their foot in the door and most efforts crash and burn.

We’ve made it our business for the past 25 years to get inside of the mind of the dentist. Our intent was to understand their needs, wants and expectations for products they buy, what they continue to use and the people and companies they choose to do business with. The data allows us to bring fresh timely insights and customer intelligence to our clients—dental manufacturers and distributors who want to do better, serve better and forge stronger relationships with the practitioners they serve.

Until recently, our research results about dentists have been reserved for our private clients. Now, we are going public with the good stuff—and you have as much to gain as our clients who have created impressive results using it. Apparently, it really is true—when you know better—you do better. It is my privilege to share this information with you this platform, The Dental Industry Insider.

Dentists, like other consumers, use very specific criteria for making buying decisions. By aligning your marketing and sales efforts with why consumers buy, you automatically elevate your impact, influence and results. We know why dentists buy. And, in this episode, Understanding the Buyer Desire of a Dentist we share the exact factors they consider importance when buying anything.

The information inside this program will pay on going returns over and over to boost your effectiveness marketing to the Dental community. We’ve included practical action steps both marketing and sales teams can take to ensure your entire sales process is covered on both ends.

One last thing, I ran a little experiment to check out how a few promotional pieces compared to the important motivators we’ve uncovered and the results, to be honest, kind of blew me away! I didn’t expect to find what I found. [I think it will raise your eyebrows, as well!]. Check out the results for FREE by downloading The Dental Advertisement Analysis, it features 21 recent ads in two popular dental journals.

 

Leader: Are You the Real Deal?

 

Given the dynamic changes occurring in the dental industry and business today, managers face the complex challenge to adapt and succeed in an ever-evolving workplace.

Businesses of all sizes are facing a leadership gap. Baby Boomers are off to retirement and Millennials already fill more than 34 percent of the workforce. This dramatic shift in experience brings an important change in culture and employee expectations.

Organizations are struggling to develop their leaders at a fast-enough pace. According to The American Society of Training and Development, businesses spend more than $170 billion dollars on leadership training to build a strong front line for today and stabilize themselves for the tomorrow.

Biggest Takeaways You Don’t Want to Miss:

  • What are the differences between a leader and a manager? 
  • Critical competencies that exemplify a leader
  • How to really know if you have what it takes

FREE Leadership Assessment Offer:

Discover Your Leadership Talents Today

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3 Small Steps that make a BIG Difference Selling to Dentists

For the past two decades in my work as a sales coach, I have witnessed hundreds of product presentations and attempts to influence dental consumers. Each year, we gather feedback from clinical professionals about their buying habits and the qualities they look for in the people and companies they buy from. The results indicate, there are several common ways representatives unknowingly hurt themselves when selling to dentists.

Dental professionals make buying decisions differently than typical consumers or fellow healthcare providers. And, when reps understand how their customer want to buy, their influence and value improves and sales increase. For your benefit, I have summarized three of the most common mistakes made selling to dentists and their staff.

PRESCRIPTION BEFORE DIAGNOSIS IS MALPRACTICE

Dental offices are busy with limited time for unexpected interruptions and unplanned meetings from salespeople. Reps know they need to get to the point and purpose of their call quickly. For most reps, that translates to jumping into a memorized product presentation of features and benefits. Salespeople rationalize this ‘short cut’ approach by getting to the ‘meat’ of their message thinking it demonstrates respect for the clinician’s time. Unfortunately, most dentists see it as an informative distraction.  In medical terms, most reps offer a prescription before a relevant diagnosis is ever made.

Salespeople would be much more effective in their results if they first asked a few ‘diagnostic’ or qualifying questions. Effective diagnostic questions strategically uncover key pain points by exposing limitations in the product being used now. They also reveal valuable insights about a prospect’s critical needs, wants and expectations for buying.  More importantly, well crafted questions will lead prospects to consider their reasons why they might switch to a new product. This simple approach seems ridiculously obvious why and how it positively improves sales, yet, so few representatives do it. We have coached hundreds of salespeople to adopt this technique (using our proprietary I.D.E.A. ApproachTM sales model) and their results improved significantly.

OVERLY FOCUSED ON PRICE & PROFIT

Most reps learn early on, “selling is a numbers game”. And, it makes sense when salespeople are hyper focused on numbers because their compensation and career depend on it. Another common mistake reps make, is to assume dentists share the same money motivation (price and profit) for buying. As a result, finance focused sales presentations are missing what matters most to clinical providers, lowering the likeliness of earning an order.
Healthcare consumers are interested at getting good value for their purchases but do not buy based primarily on money matters. The majority of dentists practicing today make buying decisions based on how it will advance their ability to improve patient outcomes. This includes a better cosmetic result, stronger restoration, provide safer treatment delivered faster with more comfort. This means, to attract interest and increase influence and ultimately win approval for an order, healthcare sales professionals must prioritize patient care over price or profit in their presentations.

To do this, seek to understand where the clinical challenges are in using their current product. Ask questions to uncover specific limitations in how a product is used, delivered, performs, lasts or impacts safety. Then use strong product knowledge to describe your product’s exact clinical advantages over what they are using now. Concisely describe how patient care is more comfortable, safer, faster, stronger or cosmetically better than any product they’ve seen.

As a dental hygienist, the best sales secret I can offer is that most healthcare professionals buy for the same reason they entered the industry and that is to help people. Salespeople who focus on and work to improve the quality of patient care their customers provide will be richly rewarded with higher credibility, faster trust and better sales.

POSITION PRODUCT AS A SOLUTION

When discussing their product or service, salespeople typically describe the same set of product features and benefits. As if, the prospect is expected to hear something to grab their interest and then buy. Unfortunately, this approach ends up sounding like a canned sales spiel. And, requires the prospect, not familiar with your product advantages, must figure out how their procedures, processes and patients will benefit. This is not exactly the customer focused service any buyer desires or deserves.

Every customer believes they and their situation is unique. Generically reciting features and benefits as a sales presentation undermines the very results reps are attempting to achieve. So, positioning your product or service to prescriptively address buyer needs, wants or desires will always be more effective than a generic sales spiel.

Offering a solid product recommendation that improves or resolves client challenges is the very essence of consultative selling. And, according to hundreds of healthcare buyers, an approach they are craving to receive. Most dental reps would become much more consultative if more focused on positioning their offer to improve a buyer’s current situation. Even if the doctor doesn’t yet know it can be improved. That’s where effective qualifying questions, good product knowledge and a powerful sales process make a big impact.

We have developed a template of ‘Diagnostic Questions’ for uncovering how any product or service can be beau-tifully positioned as a solution. This sales tool has been field tested and fine-tuned to work well with dental and healthcare consumers. You can have it for FREE by downloading it here. [Diagnostic Questions Template] 

A Mid-Year Review to Finish Strong

As August begins, we’ve officially entered into the second half of this year. And, it will seem like the blink of an eye before we are exchanging holiday gifts, eating too much and making New Year resolutions. The bad news is time flies. The good news is you’re the pilot. With a little prioritizing and planning, there is still time to meet or beat your annual goals.

Mid-year is an excellent annual milestone to check in. This is done best when we take a pause to look…really look at where we are directing our time and talents and the results we are creating. A good process for self-reflection includes four steps. They are:  Reflect, Re-evaluate, Recalibrate, Recommit. Use it to elevate your perspective and verify you are on track, moving forward and progressing toward the results that are most important to you.

Reflect
As we begin to feel the sand slip through our hands and see life picking up speed, it is tempting to get busy being busy. But first, take some time to ensure you are headed in the right direction. Don’t mistake movement for achievement.

To ensure you are progressing in ways that matter most to you, consider each life dimension including Health, Intellectual, Financial, Career, Spiritual, Family and Social. Even if you have not focused or planned a goal for each area, you will gain valuable clarity by reflecting on these questions:

  • What is working for me, right now?
  • What accomplishments am I most proud of?
  • What is my status in each area of life?(Health, Intellectual, Financial, Career, Spiritual, Family and Social)

Reevaluate
Your priorities aren’t what you say they are; they are expressed by how you live. It is far to easy to fall into the trap of habit without examining the resulting risks or rewards. Challenge status quo—it may be uncomfortable but necessary to tap into your potential. Consider where you desire or require change or improvement by asking:

  • What is demanding more time and attention than is truly important to me?
  • What area(s) needs greater energy or attention?
  • What do I really want to accomplish by the end of this year?

Give yourself permission to edit and shift your priorities. Since it is probably not realistic to work on every life dimension simultaneously, focus in areas of greatest importance then stay hyper focused there.

Recalibrate
What gets measured gets done. Goals and renewed commitment are important but until you identify exactly what success looks like, you may miss it when it arrives. A lot of people and professionals miss defining metrics that matter. They reason, “I’ll know it when I see it!” which is really just a poor excuse for not setting clear ways to measure progress. Keep it simple by asking yourself:

  • How will I measure or recognize success?
  • What methods will I use?

                “Motivation Gets You Going…and Habits Get You There”                    

                                                                                                      ——  Zig Zigler

Recommit
Now is the time to double down on doing. Identify new or recommit to the steps and rituals that will lead you to the results you desire.  If this feels overwhelming or nebulous, try this exercise. Take out a blank sheet of paper and do a thought download to list all of the incremental steps or actions needed to achieve your goal.

Don’t let your brain tell you that you don’t know how or that you need more information. Exercise your innate creativity to find options. Make reaching your goals a must. You are your only limit. It is a good idea to complete this exercise in two sessions on separate days. Your brain will work on options even though you may not be consciously thinking about it. The second pass at ideas is usually easier and yields the best results.

Commitment is sticking to what you said you’d do long after early excitement has left you. Add lift and sticking power to progress toward your goals by keeping your WHY top of mind. Recommit to your results by focusing on your reasons behind your goals for sustained enthusiasm and focus.

Time may continue to fly by, but ultimately you control the shadow your impact creates. A mid-year check in and checkup, provides a new view of the daily efforts and results they shape. This shift in perspective along with a willingness to trade routine and habit for what works better is how success is won.