The formula for success in sales

Every week I am asked “how can I motivate my associates to generate more private sales?”

You cannot, of course, motivate people.

You can only create environments in which motivated people perform.

A motivated associate is one who either wants to become a better dentist (either all the scout badges for clinical dentistry or an area of specialisation) and/or wants more money (for a specific reason – house purchase, marriage, post-graduate fees, property portfolio, school fees, their own practice, a bigger toy).

There are three vital ingredients for success, once the motivation has appeared.


P – Personality.

The successful sales person has a personality that is dominated by a genuine interest in others and the ability to communicate with princes and paupers. They are able to balance self-obsession with else-obsession.

S – System.

That successful sales person is following a systematic approach:

  • to finding new people to talk to – a marketing system
  • to listening empathetically to them – a communication system
  • to making confident recommendations – a presentation system
  • to managing treatment plans not yet taken up – a pipeline system
  • to delivering great dentistry – a clinical system
  • to managing the patient relationship over the long term, up-selling further treatment and asking for referrals – a nurture system

D – Drive.

The successful sales person is unstoppable, relentless, indestructible – driven to keep going, no matter how painful, until they achieve break-through.

When you combine motivation with P+S+D, you have success.


Published by

Chris Barrow

Chris Barrow has been active as a consultant, trainer and coach to the UK dental profession for over 20 years. As a writer, his blog enjoys a strong following and he is a regular contributor to the dental press. Naturally direct, assertive and determined, he has the ability to reach conclusions quickly, as well as the sharp reflexes and lightness of touch to innovate, change tack and push boundaries. In 2014 he appeared as a “castaway” in the first season of the popular reality TV show “The Island with Bear Grylls”. His main professional focus is as Coach Barrow, providing coaching and mentorship to independent dentistry.