Ep #28: Putting A Positive Spin on SALES

In this episode of the Integrative Entrepreneur, Dr. Nick & Dr. Nicole discuss the department of sales. While some may have a negative association with “sales” or having a salesy demeanor, we’re flipping the script to make sales positive!

“It’s about relationships and not revenue.” Dr. Nicole

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Noteworthy Time Stamps:

5:13 The goal of sales
5:56 3 major sales components
10:08 The red flags
12:30 Pain to pleasure
13:56 Storytelling
21:57 Who is answering your phone?

LISTEN TO THE FULL EPISODE

Dr. Nicole:

This is the Integrative Entrepreneur Podcast, where it’s not what you do, but how you do it. This is a podcast for entrepreneurs brought to you by entrepreneurs. We have been building a multi-million dollar healthcare business for over 10 years, and we have weaved together some of the best information for the people that are doing the best work in the business. This includes Dr. Demartini, who is a master in human behavior to Verne Harnish, who has created the methodologies of scaling up that has scaled many, many of the best businesses that we all know of. We want you to not only have a business that you love, but also a life that you love. Hello, everyone. Welcome back to another episode of Integrative Entrepreneur. So I’m here with Dr. Nick.

Dr. Nick:

Hello.

Dr. Nicole:

So we are the co-hosts for the Integrative Entrepreneur, and this is something that we actually put together based off of our teaching platform called the Institute for Integrative Wellness, where we are really trying to evolve how healthcare is being done starting with the physician, but also implementing business practices that allow us to have a business and a life that we love. Because. Unfortunately, when it comes to the business of healthcare, we often are constantly giving, giving, giving, and we’re working crazy hours and we don’t realize that we have to preserve ourselves in order to continue to serve and help others. So with that being said, one of the topics that we’re getting into today is actually all about sales.

Dr. Nick:

Scary words.

Dr. Nicole:

I was just going to say the dreaded word sales, because I know in our profession it’s all about helping people, so the thought of selling or the thought of being a sales person has a massively negative connotation. And listen, I get it because I’ve seen the downsides of sales and people being pushed into things that maybe aren’t the best for them. So today, it’s really about uncovering that veil and talking a little bit more about how sales is absolutely necessary, no matter what profession that you’re in, including healthcare, but also how we can put a positive spin on this, because at the end of the day, we have the ability to either get people to take actionary steps to completely change their lives or we can live in our own limiting beliefs and prevent people from making that first step.

Dr. Nick:

Yes, and there’s many aspects to sales to look at. And I think foundationally, like you said, it’s scary. So foundationally the relationship we have with sales.

Dr. Nicole:

Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Dr. Nick:

Looking at relationships. Really, every single relationship is [inaudible 00:03:00], and it comes back to the understanding of the teaching that I do with the Demartini Method. So the Demartini Method is a system to take people through to help balance their emotional reactions with things. And a lot of times with that, we’re actually helping people to work on their relationship with their spouse and their friends and their work. But you can utilize these similar teachings with the relationship to sales.

Dr. Nicole:

Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Dr. Nick:

And it’s really understanding that you can’t give something that you don’t have yourself. So it’s first and foremost, I would say, the primary aspect to have a great sales team, to have a great sales position, to sell anything is to realize that every single aspect of our life is really selling. I mean, if you’re in a relationship, the only reason you’re in that relationship is because, consciously or unconsciously, you sold yourself for that other person to be able to spend time with you and you’re constantly selling yourself to that person every single day. And when we stop, there’s really no need for that other person to use us, so that’s when we separate and go our different ways.

Dr. Nicole:

It’s very, very true, because I think that there are so many avenues of life that we’re using persuasion or we’re using what we call sales, and it’s something that we’re not acknowledging. And when it comes to this concept of sales, we think of the used car salesman, and really at the end of the day, most of what society has portrayed is very, very negative. But the biggest thing that I’ve learned from different people that we’ve coached with and Tony Robbins being one person and Eli Wilde, who worked directly with Tony Robbins, these people are masters of their words, and they are amazing at getting people to step out of their comfort zone and to step out of their limiting beliefs to transform their lives in a positive way.

Dr. Nicole:

And really, at the end of the day, this is not about sales, this is about leadership. And if you really take away that negative connotation and understand that all you’re trying to do is lead people to where they want to be or lead people to the life that they desire or the health that they desire, it really takes away that original guard that we have up, essentially.

Dr. Nick:

I love that you mentioned that it’s taken people outside of their comfort zone, because people don’t make a change unless they’re literally being sold that changing, hence, getting outside of their comfort zone is going to be more beneficial to them because change is painful. So it’s not until we’re able to stack and show people that there’s more benefits than there are actually drawbacks, hence, more pleasure than pain, by making this new decision, new choice to actually create new action to bring something new into their life.

Dr. Nicole:

That really brings us to the three major components to sales. And first and foremost is, do what’s right for the client. That is first and foremost. If that is not your priority, then you should not be in a position that you are communicating with people in any profession in order for them to take a step or make a change.

Dr. Nick:

That’s why sales has a dirty name, because there’s people out there that are selling things that aren’t the most beneficial.

Dr. Nicole:

It’s about relationship and not revenue.

Dr. Nick:

Right.

Dr. Nicole:

And I think that that’s something that people need to understand, is that, obviously, the revenue is something that keeps the doors open, keeps the lights on, allows us to serve. If we didn’t make revenue, we wouldn’t be able to do that unless we were a trust fund kid or something. But most importantly is that it’s not always about the end results, it’s about the play. And that’s the relationship that you can build in order to see a person take action, to take that step towards where they’re trying to go to a life that they are very upset that they have not been able to achieve just yet. So it’s always, always, always thinking about it in that way, is you always do what’s right for the client, and that includes them potentially not working with you. And this is something that we teach the students at IIW, is that not everyone is a good fit. That’s totally fine.

Dr. Nicole:

That is totally okay, because that person might be a fit somewhere else, but it’s not for us to take everyone and think that we are the best fit for everyone. We might provide an amazing surface and be super biased to be like, “We’re the best.” But at the end of the day, everyone’s looking for something different, and also everyone is in a different place. There are some people that are willing to take action on something small and then there’s people that are willing to take action on something maybe a bit bigger. So I’ll give you an example. In the healthcare profession, it’s very easy for us as practitioners to sometimes look down upon these pyramid scheme marketing companies, and there’s all these different companies pushing diet products and pushing smoothies and supplements and things like that. And it’s super easy to be like, “That stuff is crap and that’s not good quality. Why are people doing that?”

Dr. Nicole:

But, obviously, these companies are successful, and what I realized is that someone who maybe is eating McDonald’s every single day of the week, they might be a better fit for that do it yourself, start the smoothie and the supplements at home before they would maybe come to us and do a bunch of elaborate testing and get something that is really customized and personalized.

Dr. Nick:

It might be overwhelming to them.

Dr. Nicole:

It’d be extremely overwhelming and honestly would not be a good fit and it would not be a good first step. So that person might start there and maybe a year or two, maybe five years later they might be more ready for something that we do. But to think that everyone is a fit is completely not realistic. So it is definitely okay to know that not everyone’s a fit. Secondary to that is we also have to consider who is answering our phones, who is communicating with the people that are potentially going to work with us, because these people need to be trained on red flags. This is something that we trained our team on, and it wasn’t just the people answering the phones in the “sales position”. But it was also our front desk as well as our practitioners, because if there is a person that is consistently making excuses and there’s always the reason why they can’t, or they’ve been everywhere.

Dr. Nick:

“Are you going to be able to fix me?”

Dr. Nicole:

Yes. “Are you going to cure me? Are you going to fix me?” words like that, “Every doctor has failed me. They were terrible. I was kicked out of my last practice.” There’s so many things that you have to listen for in these conversations that are red flags, that either this person is not willing to take action, they’re not willing to do the percentage that they need to do, or they’re a victim of their own illness. And it comes to a point that there’s just some people that we can’t help. And I know that we learned that the hard way. And we were like, “No, but we can help them. We can help them,” and we ignored the signs, we ignored the red flags, and guess what? Those are the people that dragged us through the mud. They made the entire team miserable and they still wrote a bad review.

Dr. Nicole:

So be selective because it will kick you in the ass later on, 100% guaranteed. Or they’re going to not pay and then collections, and it’s just such a massive trickle down effect. But circling back is number one, do what is right for the patient or for the client.

Dr. Nick:

And honestly, if you do what’s right for the client, you’re going to do what’s right for yourself.

Dr. Nicole:

100%, without a doubt. The interesting thing though, is what is right for the client is usually out of their comfort zone. And that is really rule number two, is what they usually need the most, hence why they’re getting on the phone with you or your team, is because what they need. They don’t know what they don’t know, number one, number two is, it’s out of their comfort zone and they will fight like hell to stay in their comfort zone.

Dr. Nick:

Yeah, the very principles that we’re constantly trying to search for pleasure and avoid pain. So it’s the understanding that really to get better, we have to do the equal and opposite of that. We have to actually go through pain first to then experience pleasure, which is the opposite of really what anybody wants to do.

Dr. Nicole:

Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Dr. Nick:

So part of that good sales team is to be able to pretty much what we call link or stack so many more benefits so that they can actually see that going through these changes in their life, going through and actually creating pain in their life is going to bring them to really their goals and achieving a more healthy lifestyle and, hence, pleasure.

Dr. Nicole:

But it doesn’t stop there. We are consistently educating the clients even as they move through their program, because it’s a very interesting connotation with healthcare. We have all been programmed that don’t fix it until it’s broke. Once it’s broke, all you need to do is do the one surgery or take the one pill or do the one IV or the one infusion and all your problems are going to go away. So it’s immediate gratification, and we don’t often think that we have to put any work in. So they get into enough pain that they’re willing to explore this new bizarre world of functional and integrative medicine and then we have to get them to understand that a lot of this isn’t going to be covered by insurance and we have to nurture and help them to understand that.

Dr. Nicole:

But then they’re still in the mindset of, “All right, I get it, I get it.” They cognitively “get it” but then really at the end of the day, they are looking for, “Well, I’m making this investment so you better fix me, cure me, do everything for me.” And when you really put this in another context, people always understand it better. So one of the often things that I describe is saying, “Just because you purchase the gym membership doesn’t mean you’re going to have the eight pack abs. You’ve still got to show up and do the work.” Just because I hire a coach, that coach could be $100,000 a year, just because I did that doesn’t mean I’m going to be a millionaire. I still have to implement the tools and I have to do the work. But it’s very often that in the healing process, those principles are not applied. It’s just like, “Well, there’s got to be the magical technology, the magical therapy, the magical doctor that is going to heal me.”

Dr. Nick:

Yes. And looking at the psychology of sales, it’s looking at being able to break those myths that people have going forward, and the best way to do it is through storytelling. So it’s being able to, like you said, connect something that they black and white can see as, “Oh yeah, I’m not going to get eight pack abs, honestly, through just a gym membership. I have to make dietary changes with that as well. But if you pretty much relay some black and white common sense to them, it’s going to be right in front of their face and to be like, “This makes sense. I have to do work too. I can’t put all the pressure externally.” Half of it has to come internally.

Dr. Nicole:

Well, the myth, like you said is, I have listened, read podcasts, seminars, et cetera, so many different people, and Russell Brunson is one of the leading guys in the world of sales funnels, and between himself and Tony Robbins, Dean Graziano, big, big names in the industry, it all comes down to busting the myths. And you can bust those myths through a sales call, you can do that through a webinar, you can do it through your podcast, you can do it in a lot of different avenues, and you can even use what’s called Pre-Suasion. I’m totally forgetting the author who wrote that book in particular, but Pre-Suasion is a book that’s all about creating content and actually email sequences that go out prior to the strategy calls that allows you to bust the myths that people are going to say on the phone. “Do you take insurance?” “Oh, I can’t afford it.” “No, I can’t pay out of pocket.” “I don’t have time.” “I’m too busy.” All of the things.

Dr. Nick:

Distance is a factor.

Dr. Nicole:

Yes, exactly. There’s always going to be the common denominators with the excuses as to why they can’t, and it’s better to just be able to bust those myths before they even get on the phone. Or you can obviously train your team to be able to address those even further once they are on the call.

Dr. Nick:

And that’s a big thing that we do in the Institute is really laying down that foundation so you’re taking as much stress off as possible for your sales team.

Dr. Nicole:

Well, it’s funny because we saw it in action even two weeks ago. So we have all of the Pre-Suasion emails that are attached to the reminders leading up to your strategy call. So you get a reminder 48 hours in advance saying, “Hey, your strategy call is coming up,” and there’s some email copy, but it’s all following the Pre-Suasion protocols. One of the emails that goes out, I think about 24 hours in advance, it’s just like, “Hey, we’re super excited for your call. We love action takers. So we really hope that you’re ready to take action X, Y, and Z.” And the person was like, “No, no, no, I need to cancel. I don’t think that this is a fit for me. I think I need to do this on my own.” And what’s interesting is honor you for at least admitting, “Hey, I’m not an action taker and this frigging email is punking me out hardcore.”

Dr. Nicole:

We obviously extended a hand and said, “Hey, we totally get it. Our testing is definitely going to be able to give you insight that you’re not going to always get on your own. We get it that everybody’s got to do it at their own pace, so we’re here. We’re not going anywhere. So we might be touching base again in a couple of months, maybe a year, who knows.”

Dr. Nick:

But the best part about that is you’re gaining the person’s trust because you’re not selling them. Going back to this number one is, it’s always about the person on the other side.

Dr. Nicole:

Yeah.

Dr. Nick:

So if we were to say, “Don’t worry, we got you,” but then they’re not taking action, they’re going to end up having resentment on IWG, or whatever the name of your business. So it’s really having the tactics to not only really get that good fit, that win-win fair exchange.

Dr. Nicole:

Well, I was listening to one of the training modules through one of our coaches, Taylor, and he was talking about when he used to take sales calls back in the day. And he was going through this call. He’s a business coach so it was this guy and he was talking about how terrible his businesses and he’s been stuck. It’s a mess. He’s about to go bankrupt, et cetera. He said, “This program sounds amazing. I really want to do it. I can’t wait. It sounds like a perfect fit for me.” And he’s like, “All right, so this is how we move on. Deposit, get you all set up, pay the rest, and we’ll get you set up.” And the guy was like, “Oh yeah, no, I’ve got to think about it.” And he’s like, “What do you mean? You just told me that this was going to solve all of your problems. This is exactly what you needed.”

Dr. Nicole:

He’s like, “Well, I don’t make a decision on the first day.” And he was like, “What do you mean?’ I love that. That is a famous thing that he says is, “What do you mean?” And it really catches people off guard and they’re like, “Yeah, what do I mean? I don’t know.” But he then proceeded to say, “That’s just the thing. I have to think about it and I have to marinate on it,” and he pretty much just called him out. And I’m not saying that that is an appropriate thing in a sales call, but pretty much what the gist of this was that this guy is talking about 10 years of this going on, a million excuses, a million excuses, and then he pretty much says, “Hey, that’s just the thing. I don’t make a decision right away. I need to think about it.” And he’s like, “Well, you know what? I’m going to call you out because clearly that is not working for you. So if you want to get back on a call with me, you need to put down a deposit. That’s I’ll get back on a call with you.”

Dr. Nicole:

And I just thought that was just interesting. He’s like, “Just don’t waste my time. I’m not going to waste your time. You need to make a decision so I’m going to force a decision.” And again, that’s not everyone’s tactic, but he was honestly doing what was in the best interest of that guy because that guy would’ve talked himself out of it and potentially just stayed stuck for 10 more years. So he just was like, “You know what? It is what it is,” and I don’t think that I ended up moving forward and so who knows where he is now with life. But I just thought that was an interesting approach because at that same time that could have seemed like aggressive sales to some people, but he was really doing what he at least felt was best for the client.

Dr. Nick:

And that was an amazing tactic. Everybody purchases based on emotional response and the emotions are either going to take us to making a purchase or steer us away from making a purchase. And that person’s emotional reaction was actually steering them away from making a purchase. So he asked a question and an ambiguous one. And when you do that, one of my favorite questions when I have an emotional response is to be like, “Well, this is interesting. Why is this?” And that takes really our energy from the limbic system, the emotional center of the brain up to the prefrontal cortex to actually decipher and think about more qualitative and quantitative aspects. So really, when Taylor asked that question, he was forcing that emotional, pretty much energy drive to go actually into the front of the brain to be able to decipher and make them more intelligent decision.

Dr. Nicole:

Definitely, the psychology of it is just so fascinating. But one of the other things that Taylor said as well, he goes, “If this guy is in this place and he’s like, ‘Oh, I’ve got to think about it and I never make decisions right away,'” he’s like, “What is he going to do when we start the program and now it’s like, okay, this is what you need to do to fine tune this and this is what you need to do to set up this, ‘Oh, no, bro, got a marinade on it. Sorry, got to give me a few days.'” He’s like, “It’s just going to trickle down into so many other things.” It wasn’t about the sale or the program. It was just about his programming. And that was another culprit as to why his business was not flourishing. So when it comes to the big picture of this whole conversation, the biggest conversation that I’ve had with our members is, who was answering your phone?

Dr. Nicole:

Because I know this is based off of our background, this is based off of every student that we have talked to, we do not have any of the basic principles of business that every other business uses. Every other business segregates out departments. They understand that the person who is maybe running your admin is not the person who’s answering your phones. The person that is running your marketing is not also the person answering your phones. There is segregated positions because it is a completely different way of thinking and it’s a completely different zone of excellence. But in healthcare, we are taught that you have a front desk person and that front desk person will know how to wear the insurance hat and how to process your insurance and run your finances.

Dr. Nicole:

They also know how to answer the phone and convert patients. They also know how to follow up with patients to get them to move forward and take action. They should also probably know how to sell supplements at the front and sell other products. And then they should also manage the schedules and make sure the schedule is perfect. It’s just not reality. It could be fine in the beginning when you’re obviously trying to build your business and you’re trying to be savvy with your finances, but the skillset of someone who runs your front desk to the skill set of somebody who is going to be a leader, make emotional connections, and do what’s right for the patient and be able to guide them, that is a completely different skillset.

Dr. Nick:

And it doesn’t matter how fantastic of a doctor or practice you have if nobody’s coming through the doors because nobody’s actually being sold on how fantastic you are and it doesn’t matter.

Dr. Nicole:

Or the wrong people are coming through your doors and exhausting you. We all know that this profession, we give a lot and we give our all because that’s why we do this. But when you’re giving your all to the people that don’t appreciate or don’t take action, that is the absolute most draining. And guess who’s going home and thinking about it? It’s you as the practitioner. The patient’s not going home and thinking about you. They’re just like, “Oh well, whatever. They better make me better.” So it’s something that we definitely need to consider, who is answering our phones? Who’s screening the people that are coming through our doors? And also too, are they able to get people to take action on something that will potentially change their life forever? We all have a million excuses as to why we can stay in our comfort zone, and do we have someone who’s going to help people to break through that to get out of that comfort zone to do what’s actually best for them?

Dr. Nick:

Yeah. One of my favorite parts of the Institute is literally designing these systems and protocols for people. They don’t have to “waste their time” being an amazing physician and doctor. Stay in your zone of genius, keep doing what best serves you. We’ve had to step outside of our zone of genius sometimes and other times we’ve just paid a lot of money to other people to be able to learn from them. And really it’s just going through that process of learning what worked, learning what didn’t work, and really getting an amazing systematic process to really help grow your practice so you can do what you said, help others be their best version of themselves.

Dr. Nicole:

100%. Yeah, that’s really the biggest thing is that we did so much trial and error, we didn’t understand that we should have a specific set of people that were answering the phones and nurturing the potential new clients. We didn’t know that, that was something that was necessary or appropriate, but when you finally make those changes you have that guilty moment that you look back and you go, “If I put this in sooner, how many more people could I have helped? How many people, they weren’t met where they needed to be met because I had an amateur answering the phone, I had a person that just was an admin, they didn’t really care about making those emotional connections, they didn’t really care if the patient was going to have their life changed by the experience in our office?

Dr. Nicole:

So, obviously, you don’t want to live in that place, but it’s just something that, again, as business owners and healthcare practitioners, we can make a million excuses. “Well, I’m really good so it’s just going to be word of mouth.” “Oh well, it’s just people don’t come in because they don’t want to pay cash because I’m an out of network practice.” Trust me, we’ve been there, we made all the excuses, and at the end of the day, it’s never about money. It’s really not even about time. It’s the emotional connection and people will buy things based off of emotions. It’s crazy, I am so guilty of it and it’s terrible having the internet nowadays, but it’s just, I go online, I’m like, “Those boots are cute,” and then you have a bad day and you’re just like, “I deserve those boots. I’m buying them,” and you’re 9:00 p.m. at night on the internet just emotionally buying the boots, and then the next day you’re like, “Well, they’re really cute, but did I really need to buy them?”

Dr. Nicole:

But people do this. And this came to our attention as well, because I know in the healthcare profession not a lot of us open up the door for putting prices online and we don’t open up the door for people to be able to purchase online. And, of course, you have to definitely be careful with that because you want to make sure that they are an actual fit for your practice. But even though we allow people for at certain times to buy online, we still make them go through a strategy call session. So at that point we might actually decide to give them their money back if we don’t think that they’re a good fit. But during Black Friday, we do offer a lot of our different programs and services and we offer them at a discounted rate. Obviously, everything is available online to purchase, and most of the purchases were happening after 11:00 p.m.

Dr. Nicole:

And I really stopped and I thought about it and I’m like, “Wow, these are the people that just had a rough day. They’re like, “I am so tired of feeling like this. I’m so tired of being in pain,” and they’re probably just in this massive emotional state, just sitting there like, “I can’t live like this anymore.” And that is when they were just like, “Screw it,” and went online and bought. Fortunately, all of these people ended up being amazing fits and had great results going through the process. But there were a select few that we’re like, “Listen, you’re just not a fit and we really appreciate you trusting us, but we just don’t think that you’re going to be able to get what you need out of our practice,” and we refunded them. So you have to be true to yourself, and I think people really appreciate that. So it’s always, always, always, do what’s right for the client.

Dr. Nick:

Love it.

Dr. Nicole:

There is so much more on this topic inside of the Institute for Integrative Wellness. For those of you that have not checked out our site just yet, head over to instituteforintegrativewellness.com. We actually have an amazing site. It tells you all about all of the features in the program. This is pretty much 50% teaching you integrative and functional medicine, as well as business strategies and practices for integrative medicine. So we’re bridging the gap and bridging the worlds because it’s absolutely necessary in order to be able to be successful but not be burnt out, actually have a life, and really, really show up to work enjoying your practice and enjoying the people that you work with.

Dr. Nicole:

So head over there, we do have a certification that is available for those of you that do complete our program. So you can check that out on the site as well. And for those of you new, you can access our three-day trial that gets you access to our amazing beautiful portal for three days so you can get a taste of the content that we are offering at the Institute. All right, guys. We’ll see you. Next week.

Dr. Nick:

You’ve reached the end of another episode of the Integrative Entrepreneur Podcast. Connect with us at integrativegrowthinstitute.com. Don’t forget to sign up to our newsletter to receive our free materials. See you at the next episode.

Dr. Nicole:

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