Last week I went to a new dentist. I had never met him before so I told him very clearly what I wanted to achieve from the visit. I needed to replace a filling which had dropped out and I would like a clean and polish too, nothing more.
At this point he promptly tried to sell me on the idea of having x rays (He said that it was advisable to have x rays every 2 years) and he wanted to do a check-up too. There was a possibility (he said) I might have an infection in the gum above my crown. (I knew I had not got an infection as I had recently checked this). He would not stop talking for 12 minutes and then said he would not have time at this appointment to do anything more than the filling so I would have to come back for the clean and polish and pay for a second appointment.
The point of the story is, if he had just listened to what I wanted, he would have achieved the 2 tasks in the half hour appointment. I would then have trusted him, seen he could do a good job, and then I would have been happy to order more services that he suggested. Because he started selling at me the minute I arrived, he built zero rapport and trust with me.
Make sure you build trust and rapport on the phone and face to face before you ever start your sales pitch. Use open-ended questions and establish the customer’s needs, demonstrate listening skills and then you can customise your sales presentation to the customer.
Perhaps dentists should incorporate sales training in their apprenticeships do you think?