The key to Sales – Let People Sell Themselves

It’s been said that people hate to be sold, but love to buy.

Allow me to help navigate this shallow sea of semantics for a moment.

We are all salesmen (both men and women*). The only question is whether we are good or bad at it.

I consider selling to be:

the art of allowing someone to make an informed choice as soon as they can be shown the benefit(s) from that choice.

Let’s analyze that statement’s elements to gain a deeper understanding of the definition.

Art – While there are certain principles and stages inherent in the act of successful selling, such as the need to create awareness, generate interest and desire, and induce action, by and large it is the way in which these are delivered and achieved, which make a great salesman great. You’re unlikely to great robot salesmen (at least, not for a while).

Allowing – People will only make a buying decision when they feel they are respected, are free to say ‘no’ if they wish, and trust the information provider. This speaks to the part of the statement about loving to buy, but hating to be sold.

Informed – The benefits of saying ‘yes’ as well as consequences of saying ‘no’ (or doing nothing) must be clearly and simply shared with the prospect. Confused people do not buy. Informed ones may not either because informing the prospect is but one necessary precondition to closing the deal.

Choice – This is related to informing the prospect, but elaborates upon it by making it a requirement to clearly impart the information so the prospect understands what information is related to what choice. It also underscores the need to share with the prospect that not making a choice is itself a choice, which carries with it certain consequences and lost opportunity.

Soon – People naturally avoid making decisions, so it is up to the salesman to establish a relationship of trust and mutual respect, as well as convey why the choice to be made is urgent. This can be achieved in a number of ways. This need to imbue a decision with urgency is why nearly every advertisement you see carries with it verbiage such as ‘limited time offer’, ‘Act Now!’, ‘supplies are limited’ (as if there was an unlimited supply of anything), etc.

In my opinion, the only reliable way to create urgency is for the salesman to believe him or herself in the product or service’s value, and in the fact that the sooner one says yes, they sooner they will benefit from the product or service.

That’s why I want you to begin practicing these skills immediately. Because the longer you delay, the less successful you will be at encouraging people to join your dental practice. So….


*The term salesman is generally accepted as a gender neutral term to distinguish the skill from that of salesperson, which is generally taken to mean one who accepts orders from people who have already decided to buy.

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