"How long has your knee been giving you discomfort?" asked the doctor to the frustrated high school basketball player sitting in front of him.

"Since about halfway through the season," said the student athlete.

"I see. Was there any particular incident in practice or a game where you felt a sharp pain?"


"Ok. Chris, let's go ahead and get an MRI and see what is going on inside that knee and let's get you back on the court as soon as possible."

Interesting conversation we just had the privilege of over hearing. It was non threatening, wasn't? Not pushy, self absorbed, or canned. It was conversational, caring, and consulting.

Here is a thought for us to ponder. What if all sales people sounded very similar to our doctor friend in the story? What do you think would happen to their sales? They would probably go up, wouldn't they?

I recently had the privilege of talking with sales leader Scott Cramer. Scott is a Sales Manager with Kareo. Kareo, headquartered in Irving, CA, provides medical billing software for medical practices just like our fine doctor taking care of our student athlete in our story. Scott leads a team of sales professionals in Indianapolis. He is also the President of Cramer Properties, LLC.

Scott believes that we as sales professionals need to sound much more like our doctor than an arrogant person pitching a product. When we pitch, we come across pushy and self absorbed. When we listen like our doctor, we come across as a consultant. That is the key. No one wants to talk with a pushy salesperson. Everyone wants to talk with a consultant.

The key to selling like a consultant is listening skills and the tool we use is the questions we ask the prospect. Scott says that, "Credibility comes from the questions we ask." And with credibility comes trust and with trust comes the sale.

Scott Cramer uses two approaches to develop his team into a group of consulting champions. One, is they have relentless Sales Sparring. Just like a boxer needs a sparring partner to work out the kinks in his armor, sales professionals need sparring partners too. Scott puts his team through a rigorous workout of three hours of roll playing every week. Do they love it? No. Are they succeeding because of it? Absolutely. Practice doesn't make perfect, but practice does make improvement. And a lot of practice makes great improvement.

The second approach Scott puts into practice is what he calls a WIM. WIM stands for Weekly Individual Meeting. Every week, Scott dedicates time to meet one on one with all of his sales representatives. He said this is a way that we catch problems before they surface. If you catch a tiny hole in your boat before it becomes a Titanic, then you are able to proactively fix the problem before it can sink you.

Clever ideas that can get your team sounding like consulting champions. So, why are you still reading this article? Go do some roll playing.

Author's Bio: 

Mark Bowser is one of the best Sales Trainers in the United States. He is the author of three books. He can be contacted at info@MarkBowser.com.

His book "Three Pillars of Success" is now available in ebook format on Amazon's Kindle and Apple's iBook. Get your copy today!