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Published:June 5th, 2008 09:47 EST
Practice the Way that Doctors Practice

Practice the Way that Doctors Practice

By Joel G. Block (Mentor/Columnist)

Doctors spend years in medical school studying, practicing and readying themselves to take on the enormous responsibilities of their profession. The consuming public has a very high expectation of the professional standards that are imposed on the medical profession, and all of their faith and hope is frequently placed into the hand of the doctors who are taking care of family, friends and loved ones. This is one reason why doctors have to prepare themselves in the most careful way for the procedures that they perform.

Sales and business professionals should look at the tremendous preparations that doctors make and apply some of the same logic to the way that they approach their responsibilities on a day-to-day basis. This is not in any way about likening the responsibility that sales people have with the responsibility that medical doctors have; however, there is a specific logic and there are some approaches that we can benefit from by studying doctors.

The most important approach is that doctors, when they are first learning their craft, do not practice on live people. It`s well understood that doctors have to learn the intricacies of the human body. And it`s also well understood that their skills as they are learning are far from honed; therefore, they practice on cadavers. By practicing on cadavers, it`s difficult to make a mistake that would compromise their future. Even though they could waste a valuable resource, they`re not going to do any damage that`s really beyond repair.

Sales people can learn a lot from the reasons why doctors practice on cadavers. Sales people also need to practice on customers where a failed outcome is not "a big deal." Rather than making our first sales call on our most lucrative potential prospect, we need to practice on smaller customers so that we can refine our pitch, refine our approach, get a better understanding of how the customers and prospects absorb our material and make the necessary refinements before moving forward to work on "bagging the elephant."

By being very careful about how we are perceived and by practicing on lower-value targets, we increase our ability to close the lower-value targets. And as we work our way up the prospect ladder, we`re not risking the very few high-value targets that exist in our marketplace.

So, as you are working hard every day to build your company, or as you`re building your career, remember to practice on "cadavers." Practice on those companies where you aren`t likely to make a critical error and spoil the most significant opportunities you can have as you move your career forward.

About Joel G. Block, President of Growth-Logic, Inc. Often dubbed a "Growth Architect" by his clients, Joel Block advises companies on explosive growth strategies by driving revenue and sales. Well known in the capital markets, Joel is a successful entrepreneur, speaker and advisor. To bring Joel into your company, please visit or Also, be sure to check out our newest project: a blog to organize the blogs that cover entrepreneurship -