Why it’s critical for team member to show leadership from the beginning of every sales interaction

The sales process can be compared in many ways to a guided hiking trip. In this analogy, the salesperson is the guide and therefore must show leadership from the beginning in order to generate credibility in the group. When done with a reputable, enthusiastic and knowledgeable guide, hiking can be a great activity for all involved. However without a guide to lead the way, it is easy for hikers to lose the path.

A hiking guide needs to

  • Greet the hikers and warm them up so they feel comfortable and enjoy the presence of the guide
  • Explain what is going to happen over the hiking trip so that the hikers know what to expect
  • Ask the hikers questions to assess their level of fitness and ability and what they want to achieve from the hike
  • Ask if the hikers have any concerns about the hike ahead
  • Ask the hikers why they want to do this particular hike
  • Determine whether or not hikers are qualified to overcome the obstacles in the hike
  • Show hikers the way
  • Ensure everyone gets to the end of the hike safely and on time
  • Manage expectations over the hike
  • Help hikers to overcome obstacles on the way.

Likewise, in medical sales, the sales person needs to

  • Build a rapport with the prospective customer and be likeable
  • Explain the medical procedure and what patients can expect
  • Ask appropriate questions about the patient’s existing health and other factors
  • Uncover any concerns the customer may have about the procedure
  • Ask the client why they have chosen this particular procedure
  • Decide if the procedure is suitable for this particular patient
  • Guide prospects towards suitable procedures
  • Make sure the procedure chosen is safe and appropriate for the patient
  • Manage the customer’s expectations of the procedure
  • Help patients to deal with obstacles such as fear of pain.

On undertaking a guided hike, if the guide appears to have a lack of leadership, is unlikeable, cannot answer questions thoroughly and seems unconcerned with the wellbeing of the hikers, he is unlikely to gain their trust and they may choose to find a different guide or not to go on the hike at all.

In the same way, it is vital to display a strong sense of leadership right from the beginning of a sales interaction. Taking the lead will increase customer confidence and reassure them that the journey they are about to take (in this case, a medical procedure) is the right one.

People deciding to go on a guided hike are not always sure what to expect and rely on the guide, with his experience and knowledge, to assess their abilities and suggest a hike that is the best fit for their personal aims. Likewise, it is important for you to guide the customer towards the right decision from the very start and always display desirable leadership qualities such as assertiveness, trustworthiness and positivity, in order to inspire confidence in your prospects.