Service lessons learned from my doctor

I recently had an operation to put an end to months of yucky pain, fatigue and writing cheques my physical strength just couldn’t cash. 

So here I was in hospital in a state of forced rest as I accepted that my body will take its own time to heal, and why patience is a virtue!

Every single day, my surgeon came in to see me just to check in. He had other people to see and rounds to make as part of his day and the visits only took 2-5 minutes AT THE MOST.

But it was the quality and frequency of those visits that enabled him to deliver better care for ME and in turn, help me recover faster, go home sooner and for the hospital, free up a bed for someone who needs it more than I do.  I thought about what it was that made his visits valuable to me, and here’s the application I can see to sales and service:

 

ONE: Frequent, top of mind contact

Sometimes we overcomplicate what this needs to be.  Take time to think about your key clients, referrers and prospects and how you can stay in touch, directly and indirectly, to stay connected in a way that adds to their day and reinforces a positive association with you.  It’s about anchoring a good experience with frequent, small pieces immediately after the event, and then intermittently after that.

For example: if you have a great meeting, outcome or something else that you’ve been directly involved with for this person, text straight after to thank them and refer to what made it great for you personally.  Reinforce that with a call, text or email a couple of days after that with the next meeting and then another communication point that can just be an article, a picture, a link to something that is relevant to them.

Then, it’s a matter of setting a cadence after that that you can sustain.

 

TWO: Personalised conversation

How well do you know your clients or customers outside of your business relationship?  While you don’t need to talk about their private lives (after all, they’re called private lives for a reason), you can get to know their world at work, their personal challenges and drivers so that your conversation is relevant to THEM.  Meaningful to THEM.  This means being able to meet people where they’re at by becoming experts at rapport.

 

THREE: Outcome driven

No one has time for long winded conversations that amble with no obvious point to them.  Be clear about what you want/need to cover by the end of the communication and ensure you are deliberate about achieving that.  It’s respectful of your customer’s time, and frees up yours too.  For example, my surgeon of course knew what he needed to achieve each visit like my response to medication, progress, wellbeing, and so on. Which isn’t to say his visits were business like.  It’s not binary.  Conversations can be both purposeful AND deepen connection

 

FOUR: What is the most help I can give right now

If we show up with curiosity and a desire to give, we look for ways to do just that.  It’s a game changer.  Is it directing them to someone else first?  Is it just to listen?  Is it to build more insight about how we can partner better?  Once we know, we can take appropriate action.

 

 

I’m not a doctor, but I am The Sales Doctor so…..
Remember that service is not a role, it’s a practice.

 

 

 

View our other posts

Structure is the Key

If the business world in Australia goes into hibernation, what on earth do we as salespeople do?    Well I guess we could pull up stumps and “go home” mentally and turn our attentions elsewhere.  That’s certainly one option. My question about that though, is what...

The Hidden Impact on your Customer Facing Teams

Bushfires.  Coronavirus.  Global Recession.  Mass layoffs.  Daily updates on social distancing.  Industries disappearing.  Queues at Centrelink.   It’s rough.  Could get rougher.  Could?  Let me change that to probably will. For the industries who still have...

How to connect despite social distancing

Life has just jumped tracks.    One minute we were heading into a recession…but we kind of knew how to handle that…and we could prepare ourselves for less spending by less individuals and businesses…It would hurt, but it was something we could handle. Coronavirus...

How to sell in a recession

It’s coming.  Some say it’s here.  We dodged the last one….just.  This one is seemingly unavoidable. Selling is easy when the economy is buoyant, when confidence is high and employment is so abundant people are quitting jobs to pursue their passions. Relatively...

Coronavirus Update

These certainly are interesting times we’re living in, aren’t they?   With each day comes new information and new restrictions about the way we interact with one another to protect ourselves and those most vulnerable to Coronavirus.  I wanted to reach out to you...

One thing impacts something else

We don’t just transform in one way without transforming in other (sometimes unexpected) ways.  We just don’t.  I used the example of extreme weight loss in another article, so let’s return there for the purpose of example.  In losing say, 37kg in weight a person will...

Staying Hungry and Humble

There is a truth in sales that must be accepted in order to be truly successful and to ensure that success is continued.  And that is that we never pass go.  To use the Monopoly Board analogy, we may step on the destination but then we move beyond it…over and over and...

Acting As If and Imposter Syndrome

At some point in our career, each of us feels like we’re going to get the tap on the shoulder to tell us that the game is up.  They’re finally onto us…nice try but we’ll take it from here.  Imposter Syndrome.But where does Acting “As if” fit into this, and is it the...

Service is a privilege

To be of service is a privilege.   There I’ve said it.  It’s the fastest way to right size yourself, to put your ego well and truly back in its place and to live a life of legacy and purpose.  Not everyone sees it like this. Service isn’t related only to a job, a role...

2020: Hindsight or Vision?

Welcome to 2020! What a year, right?     What’s it going to bring you?  What will you bring to it? In December I wrote that with the start of a new decade, we have the opportunity to leave behind the habits, behaviours, thinking patterns, feelings, approaches...