No More Orange Juice: How To Sell Like A Doctor

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In my experience when it’s done right, a professional salesperson who is using a consultative sales process (versus transactional) will follow a similar path to a doctor.

A lot of times sales reps don’t think of it that way or don’t see themselves controlling the conversation in the same manner.

They also might not believe they have the authority to provide a diagnosis and then the prescription like a doctor would.

But I think there is a lot of value in being a sales pro that acts that way.

What is causing the pain?

My dad recently went to the doctor for a checkup. He has a fairly typical higher than normal blood pressure and a little bit of extra weight.

The small town doctor where he lives examined him and asked a bunch of questions to determine where my dad could make changes to be healthier.

The end result was that the doctor suggested to my dad that to be in better shape the one thing he should stop doing is drinking the large glass of orange juice he drinks each and every morning.

That was the only prescription the doctor gave him.

Such a small thing, but it’s spot on advice (While it seems healthy, OJ has a lot of sugar compared to just eating an orange – its more like eating 8 oranges). The doctor only arrived there by asking lots of questions (discovery) and then providing a solution that fit my dad’s goals.

My dad isn’t going to join a gym, get a personal trainer, or start doing cardio to get into shape. My dad is active and strong, but he isn’t going to dramatically change his routine.

The doctor could tell this, and instead of prescribing something crazy, or even prescribing medication, the steps he gave my dad was to stop his once-a-day OJ.

Consultative Sales Like A Doctor

Breaking down the process, we can see how it’s also the same way a consultative sales professional would operate:

  1. Understand the other person’s goals they want to achieve, or issues they want to overcome
  2. Ask questions with the goal of finding the source of the goal or the pain
  3. Listen actively and carefully for what might be a small and easy to miss detail that could be exactly what you are looking for
  4. Identify a diagnosis based on that person alone (and avoid bringing in all your past experiences…i.e. prejudgments of how your prospects usually feel)
  5. Provide a prescription to help your prospect get from here to there. From okay to happy. From unhealthy to well
  6. Keep in mind that most people will resist change, so your prescription should be something the other person will actually embrace and complete

The doctor that met with my dad is a professional. He didn’t immediately jump to giving him a prescription for meds. He took the time to ask questions with the goal of uncovering what little causes, compounded daily, could be attributing to my dad’s current condition. He then assigned him a task relative to what my dad would actually be successful with.

If you treated each one of your sales interactions with that same process, you do the right thing for each one of your prospects.

When you help your prospects get well or achieve their goals, you will win!

And you will do it all without manipulation, memorizing dozens of slick sales lines, and without acting desperate.

If you want help improving your sales process to achieve a higher closing effectiveness and a better sales experience for your prospects, email me at or call (206) 234-1848. We can schedule a call to uncover the simple ways to sell more like an amazing doctor!

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