Sherrine Washington
CEO, Real Talk Selling (Dental Sales Training Program)

Sherrine Washington, MSW, is a former Therapist turned award-winning Multi-Million Dollar Sales Coach & Trainer and Founder of Real Talk Sales Consulting LLC.  

When it comes to sales, Sherrine is a rainmaker.  To date, she has sold over 34 million for national brands, 32 million in dental implants alone.   

Using her award-winning selling skills, she developed the proprietary R.E.A.L Talk Selling™ System featuring her profitable Accelerator Program to help dentists convert potential prospects into patients on the same day of the consultation-PAID IN FULL. 

A career highlight includes serving on the Corporate Leadership Team at Clear Choice Management Services LLC., a role reserved for the top eight performers within the company.  Sherrine was also honored the TOP PRODUCER OF THE YEAR award at Clear Choice. 

Using her sales methodology over the years, Sherrine consistently maintained a SAME-DAY close rate of 85%-90% at price points ranging between $25,000- $50,000.  Her passion is transforming untrained treatment coordinators and “ready to win” sales professionals into revenue-generating machines.   

Transcription of Podcast

Julie Soukup 0:01  
All right. Hi, I'm Julie Yorumez. With take one patient I am so excited to be talking to my very, very dear friend and respected colleague, Miss Schering, Washington. And so she has been working with dentists across the match's country like really kind of all over about how to really optimize their sales process how to optimize their communication process and I think that as we look at you know, different ways to communicate effectively to patients as we start recording, you know, more and more visits I think taking some ideas from elective medicine from from physicians that actually have more of a you know, pay for the procedures that we're doing mentality, and how we can really apply it into just day to day nursing and basic doctor conversation. So today, corniness here is with serene Washington frame. A little bit, um, tell me a little bit about like what you do and what you do now for dentists to help them improve the way that they communicate.

Sherrine Washington  1:11  
Yes, we know each other from from clear choice, our basic clear choice working in sales. And I transitioned from working in a sales capacity to really my true passion, which is being a sales trainer. So I'm a sales trainer, coach and dent in trusted dental advisor. And I trained dentists and their treatment presenters how to close five figure cases on the same day of the consultation paid in full. And so a lot of what I do is even just introducing sales, the word sales to a lot of offices, because that word is taboo sometimes. So I start with that, and the week basically create a repeatable sales process that allows them to drive revenue through the doors of their practice.

Julie Soukup  1:58  
So So I and I, and I recognize that as far as like sales has this has this dirty word, even even with you know, a lot of you know, our clients, you know, a hospital is still in business. And unfortunately, you know, it is the nature of you know, we do have to pay patients you have to pay, whether it be insurance or right out of pocket in order to get treatment. Why do you think that that is such a hard mentality for people wrap themselves around there? Why is sales such a dirty word when it comes to medicine? Yeah,

Sherrine Washington  2:29  
well, I think, for most people, they, when they think of sales, they think back to a, maybe a bad interaction that they personally had with a salesperson, whether it be purchasing a car, or purchasing a high dollar ticket item. And they get this vision in their mind of being backed into a corner, and someone pushing them and forcing them to do something. But speaking to your point, sales exists in essentially, every business, there's no getting around it, right. But if you see sales, from the perspective of this person is coming to me with a need. And I have something that will solve that need. So this is a mutual exchange, it's a conversation to see if what I offer is going to help solve their problem. And I have an obligation to serve this person, because they need my help. If you look at it from that perspective, it kind of takes the bad out of what most people associate the word sales with, if that makes sense.

Julie Soukup  3:33  
Right? Because I think it goes even back to kind of those old old movies or those old sales movies where you know, I know more than you and I'm going to manipulate you and convince you to do something that you don't necessarily need, or that's going to be double what is actually the value is and so I love that what you're saying is, you know, when we take a step back and stop thinking of that conversation, and that, you know, kind of teamwork, if you will on I'm going to get something from you or you're going to get something from me and more of our it how do we figure this out? together? Yeah, it really strengthens kind of that, that conversation and turns it from, alright, this isn't a sales thing is more of a, you know, mutual exchange

Sherrine Washington  4:14  
of value. Absolutely. This is like the collaborative, right? This is a collaborative effort where I have something that you potentially need, and we're going to talk about it and figure out if this is a good fit, and if it's not a good fit, and it's a no for now, that's okay, too. Right? And if someone in the sales industry is really passionate about what they do, at the end of the day, if what you offer is not a good fit for your client, you should feel okay to even recommend another service for them. That's going to be a better fit. Yeah, right. Maybe that's important. Right?

Julie Soukup 4:47  
Well, I think it also goes back to you know me as a patient I would have or my dad for example, he had even neurosurgery so he has no ability to To understand the skill set of the doctor that he's talking to, he has no ability to even recognize are they awesome at this was terrible about this. I mean, you can see reviews and you can see, you know, they're board certified and all of those pieces, but there's no way that you have that. The only way that you really can understand, Hey, is this a good fit for me is this the right person to entrust you know my body to is kind of by the way they come across as kind of, by the way that they are communicating about their skill level and themselves. You know, and so I think as you said, it's like, you know, if it's a mutual change your value in a good conversation and a doctor say, hey, this might not be the best for you or I might not be the best for you. It's kind of more of that versus like, let me manipulate you and convince you to do something that you don't need.

Sherrine Washington  5:48  
Yeah, exactly. I always use the example when I go to my primary care, I never, I mean, the word sales doesn't even pop into my mind if if I'm going to my primary care. But if my doctor said shareen, you complaining of chest pains, I think we need to have an EKG. If that EKG isn't covered with my insurance. I'm not thinking that my primary care is out to get me. In fact, I'm gonna say, doesn't matter whether or not my insurance is gonna cover it. If you recommend an EKG, let's do it. Right? And we take action, right? But why is it different? When we have a patient that goes to the dentist, right? And the dentist says, Listen, we've got major infection here, you've got three teeth that needs to be be need to be extracted, like, as soon as possible. Let's go ahead and get this. Why does the conversation change? Yeah, yeah. And why is the salesperson are we afraid to help this The difference is still medicine is still the body? Sure. Right. So we have to change our mindset.

Julie Soukup  6:53  
Well, and the other space that you know, you and I both worked in quite a bit. It's not even just like dentistry, but plastic surgery, cosmetic surgery, you know, bariatric surgery, you know, I learned you know, getting more into the hospital setting. You know, even a lot of these physicians will say, even a hip replacement or a knee replacement. It may not be something that's needed right away, it may be something even that you decide to wait three or four years. But the same thing is going is you're coming into a situation now this is something that I need. It may not be an emergency, but I'm coming to you with some concerns. I'm coming to you with some questions about something that is not comfortable with my body. Even my perception of my body is it's plastic surgery or liposuction. It's like I'm not in a healthy, full complete space herself. And then come doctor help me and it is kind of like that. It is Yes. Is that communication mutual exchange of value, but it's also like Alright, let me start educating you and influencing you about what might be necessary. Yeah,

Sherrine Washington  7:59  
no, I agree with that. And I agree with what you're saying on a personal level because I'm a very attic patient. I'm also a plastic surgery patient I had all the skin removed after I had weight loss surgery. And I always tell people I went to several different offices to have console's and I told the patient coordinator that I was paying cash for my treatment and no one asked me if I was ready to do it. And I was wanting someone to ask me and if they had asked me I would have never thought of this person is this person is sleazy this person is slimy this person is trying to get my money right waiting for someone to leave me to help make my decision right here because I wanted it and I had already mentally prepared to do it. Sure. Why did I have to go to five different offices

Julie Soukup 8:51  
right well that's interesting help me Yeah, I'm ready to take that step just hold my hand and walk with me with the road I mean I'm ready to do something because you are You don't know anything about you know that procedure before walking into an office you know, you're expecting them to kind of be experts guide out the steps and say let's do this thing you made the choice to walk in let's go and and instead of be like, Well think about it, or whatever you want to do. It wasn't that hey, like walking in? Was you saying yes, before you even came in? You know, and that's

Sherrine Washington  9:21  
it. That's it. So I mean, I think that the the moral of the story is, why are we afraid to ask? Yeah, I don't need to be afraid to ask if a patient is ready and we don't need to be afraid to be confident and poised and relaxed and having that conversation

Julie Soukup  9:42  
Sure. You know, I think that that really can apply again even to outside of just cosmetic surgery. I mean, working with a lot of neurosurgeons even orthopedic surgeons, you know a lot of them are in that same space as a patient may be considering three or four doctors. They may not be considering do i do They're not they may be considering different people. And I do think that that confidence of I'm going to take care of you, let's do this thing does make a patient gain more trust in that provider of their that confidence to say you should do this, let's go. It doesn't come off as manipulative or overbearing or salesy. It comes across as confident, and I don't know, you know, people, they're not thinking I can just say that, you know,

Sherrine Washington  10:25  
yeah, well, you know, consumers are more educated than we think that they are. And the internet makes it easy for people to kind of like, okay, these are my options. And I think a lot of people look at their options, and they are literally looking for a reason to say no, all right, I'm gonna ask this person off. Nope. You know, we're looking for that. Yeah. And so as a doctor, whatever field of medicine, what are you willing to do to stand out above the rest? To make it easy for the patient to choose you? You know, like I said, is this back to that confidence? It's okay to toot our own horn, it's okay to let a patient know, like, wow, I would love to have you as my patient. As a patient, a doctor said that to me. You would love to have me as a patient. Write me up. Yeah, right. You know,

Julie Soukup 11:18  
yeah. So empathy kind of goes with it. I'm like, I'll take care of you. I've got you, you know, and there, too. So when you are working? I mean, so you work with a lot of different dentists, you know, across the country? What would you say separates the doctors that do unnecessarily sale do communicate really well, from those that don't? What do you think is the biggest differentiator between them?

Sherrine Washington  11:41  
I think the doctors that get that when they meet with a patient, that it's not about their agenda. Those are the the I would say those are the doctors that are really successful. Number one, they're not afraid to invest in training. Sure. And because training is an you know, you don't like pay for training and like, okay, yep, I don't need it anymore. The doctors that realize, like, I want to level up, I want to be better in the industry, I want to dictate my own schedule, I want to dominate, I want to be able to have a three or four day work week instead of a five day work week. Those are the doctors that really put forth the effort and being better communicators with their patients, they learn to listen, more than talk. They are naturally very, very curious. Sure. Yeah. They they. They're open to even changing up how they do things, because a lot of the doctors who I help, I have to, like, totally revamp how they do things I have to revamp their patient funnel, I have to, if I have them do a virtual tour of their office, I might tell them, no, you can't present treatment in that room, you got to present it over here. Yeah, and those doctors that are like, okay, shareen, and they trust me, and they're willing to try things, and they're willing to see if it feels uncomfortable. Those are the doctors that that thrive and do really well at communicating with your patients.

Julie Soukup  13:09  
You know, so interesting, you say that, because we were just I had an opportunity to, to work with the director of patient experience and have her on a few of these. And she was talking about, you know, I was like, Hey, what are one of the three things that you would say, in a hospital setting, separates, you know, your top communicators from those that aren't? And she said, you know, she had, she had her list of, you know, sit down, and it was a lot of body language. But one of the things that she did say she said, they make sure that they're asking, like, what is it that you understand about this, and ask a lot more questions, because the act of making sure that a patient is really comprehending what they're needing. And what you can do to help them is a huge piece for patient experience and patients to have a better experience with their provider. And oftentimes, the doctor will think, Hey, I can just tell you to spend five minutes talking at you or talking with you, okay, this is a difference but talking at you, and and you'll know everything that you need. And she says no, no, that's not it. It's it's that extra, your two minutes would be like, Do you understand what we're going to do? Like, are you comfortable with how we're going to move forward? Like where How do you feel about what we're thinking, and really having of just even a few of those conversations? I know in dentistry in a concentrated space, there's a consultants doing a lot more of that. I remember that too. We're talking more even in like a critical care floor or an ICU acute care setting where a doctor only maybe has five or six minutes to provide the update that this patient needs. And that's that little time of like, how do you feel about what we're thinking about doing? Do you understand what's going to be happening? Tell me how you're feeling. And just those three questions after the piece at the end kind of goes back to just what you said is its takes away from their agenda. What they I'm going to be doing and make sure it turns into a conversation to learn and listen more than they're talking.

Sherrine Washington  15:07  
Yeah, yeah, it definitely. Yeah. I think that we don't give patients enough credit. I think that a lot of patients, I know, even just speaking myself, when I go to the doctor, if I don't feel well, I'm almost kind of like diagnosing myself. I think a lot of people are like, Oh, man, I think I have bronchitis, I need to go to the doctor, I think I got this, I think I got that we can go online, and we can diagnose ourselves, right? So when we go into the doctor, I, you know, I always love a doctor that's like, so what are you thinking is going on? Because like, I know my body. Yeah. Love to add, I could be wrong. I'm not a doctor. But yeah, that you asked me. You thought to ask me, you already have my attention. You know, right. I think the biggest piece of somebody says to me, what, what advice would you give to any doctor, I think the biggest piece of advice, I'm going to be doing a webinar just a little bit, and we're going to be talking about this is, is really slowing down and watching your pace. And even saying out loud, to a patient. Let's slow things down for a moment. Let's slow things down. Like if somebody said that to me in a medical office, I'd be like, okay, right? I'd almost be like, okay, we're gonna slow this thing. Alright, let's sleep back. Like, okay, and now you have my attention. Yeah, because you're telling me just the idea of that. And changing your tone. And your inflection in your voice, helps me to be at attention, because now you're getting ready to say something, to me, that's very important. And then listening.

Julie Soukup 16:50  
Want it's interesting, even the way that you're saying that, again, in your space and thinking about my nurses and my doctors that are in a more of an acute care setting, where they're going in and rounding on each patient in the morning, oftentimes, like 5am 510 minutes are going in each room, that even if they know, I only have that five minutes to be in there, that they come in and say, Okay, I'm going to sit down with you for a second, which was a great, you know, idea someone else had provided, and we're going to slow things down, and we're just going to talk, even if they spend the same amount of time, the perception of that patient, because I have nowhere to be, I'm going to be doing this like slowly and calmly. And we're going to, we're going to make sure that we're both in the same space. But as you said, as a patient listening to that, all of a sudden, I'm not thinking about the list of what I need to do, I'm not thinking about one and a half for lunch, I'm not thinking about the fight I had with my boyfriend, like nothing about any of that I'm like, oh, we're okay, I'm with you, we need it like, like, both of them. And it's so even if a doctor is saying, I'm gonna sit down and put things down, and we're gonna have a talk, that little agenda of making sure that the patient says, Hey, we're gonna, this is what this is going to look like for the next four or five minutes of our dialogue. It's not necessarily about spending 20 minutes, it's making sure that that little bit of time is used effectively. So I love that I love that and like thinking about as you're saying of, like, how applicable that is, into this hospital settings of, you know, let's just take a minute, we're gonna slow down and it gives you that mental note as well as makes the patient have that mental note, I love that. That's great. That's so applicable. Awesome, you know, you so so medical memory I work with that they use video, where they're actually then recording those conversations. So you know, you have that slow down, you have that check in. So not only the patient can re access it, but also the family members can access that, which makes me think about, gosh, what a great even perspective for a family member to see a doctor saying, Hey, I'm going to come in and we're going to slow things down. And let's really sit and talk for a minute about this. Um, so that's how we're using medical memory. Now you use medical memory in a totally different capacity where you're actually not giving the patient not necessarily a copy of the video, but more so using it to record the doctor and provide feedback on the way that the doctor is communicating about their consultation. What makes you start to even think about using video as it relates to improving communication.

Sherrine Washington  19:24  
Well, I wasn't a big fan of having to be recorded years ago, working as a consultative salesperson. And it was mainly because I looked at it the wrong way. And I thought, well, somebody's looking at my video as I'm doing my consultations to judge me or to see what I'm doing wrong, right. It wasn't until I really started watching myself on video, that I had such an appreciation for it. Because there were a lot of nonverbals that I was guilty of that I didn't realize my facial expressions of my ability to To catch where someone maybe wasn't quite understanding what I was saying I wasn't looking at their body language that would help me to really clear my message. And now that I have my clients using video it's a game changer because well it's the closest thing to me being there without doctors having to pay me to actually fly to their office or sure, but it's really focusing on the things that they do really really well because it's not just adapted to treatment coordinator to but then those it's those missed opportunities that because they say things that becomes their song and they say things all the time that I'm able to provide them with really great feedback and saying instead of using the word cheat, like we got to think of another word that we use instead of saying cheat because it devalues the treatment can we say that another another affordable option might be you know yeah I'm also noticing with medical memory and watch it is so powerful I can watch a medical memory video and when I'm done I can confidently say as a coach I know exactly where that went wrong I know exactly the moment down to the minute on the video where it unraveled yeah I get it but then it like went this direction and here's why. yeah all right and then what here's why we don't do it here but then maybe that conversation you put it here right it's it's so dynamic The key is is is you know you've got to have people that are open to hearing the feedback oh okay yeah you're right as opposed to somebody like resisting it but it's it's it's so powerful for

Julie Soukup  21:52  
you almost said which was interesting is is is incorrect me if I'm wrong is that the first thing that you when you started using video is the first thing was just simply seeing yourself like even if you don't have a coach even if you don't have anybody that's able to look at these videos. So even for like again going back to any nurse or any doctor maybe taking one day to say you know I wonder how I come across and watching just a couple of their own videos in and of itself would have a pretty profound effect and shifting some things that they would do communication wise.

Sherrine Washington  22:29  
Absolutely yes yeah. And and when you start doing it you're looking at the wrong things oh my god that angle my chin I look fat that that that that you know you're looking at all the wrong things, right? We don't need to look at that. We just need to look at my hands. My face. One of the first things I noticed in video was that I did this a lot. And I wasn't even listening I could tell that I wasn't listening because the patient would ask me a question and I had to say Can you say that again? I was doing things like subconsciously I wasn't even aware of it. Yeah you know and then when I wasn't on video I was like okay I had like this internal dialogue before I you know did my console that's like okay so I'm no I'm not going to do this. I'm going to work on this and I'm going to work on that so you're almost like coaching yourself

Julie Soukup 23:23  
still remember what I watched myself on video the first few times I could not believe how fast I taught and I still talk too fast it's just my my like learning how to sell on the east coast and in New York you know Um, but yeah and I was like you know this patient is missing even half of the things that I'm saying because it's just too fast and I should have taken that advice and like okay, we're just gonna slow things down like let's really talk about this it would have been a good like mental chat to be like okay, so we're just going to slow things down and and like let's make sure we're on the same page even having a moment of that in that big you know, consultation. I couldn't believe how fast I talked and it was a huge like, gut check of like, jewels oh my goodness

Sherrine Washington  24:12  
and that's another thing I mean, I'm from New Jersey so there's a lot of like cultural like, you know, nuances that we have is sort of ingrained in us It doesn't mean that we can't change it but certainly we need to be aware of it talking fast talking too much. being overly animated. I mean, these are all things that can be tweaked. Yeah, if you see yourself doing

Julie Soukup 24:36  
honestly see yourself honestly Yeah, absolutely. So I love this shirt and I love I love already that one that one thing you said as far as this is a great way to just like make sure we're on the same page I'm gonna slow things down that that's my biggest takeaway, or what do you say you say in your in your things? You're like, this is your one. What do you call it like your hot thing? I can't remember I watched one of your webinars and you're like, this is the one thing you should remember. Write it down.

Sherrine Washington  25:02  
Write this down, write it down,

Julie Soukup  25:05  
write this down. So what would outside of you know that that that piece? What would be the other kind of two biggest things that you would say, and your space would be useful for it. You know, knowing what you know about nurses or doctors and kind of what I've explained to you well over the other two things from your expertise, do you think that they could also add outside of like that, let's slow this down and reminding themselves to slow down? What would be two other things?

Sherrine Washington  25:29  
I would think I would say checking in and checking in very early in the conversation. I think that when I watch doctors, or I watch anyone who comes into the room for the first time, we we jump in immediately to like, our purpose. Yeah. And I think that we have to, like, stop for a second. And think we don't know what happened to this patient. Even before they like got there. Like, we don't know, if they, you know, went in traffic. We don't know if they were in an accident. We don't know anything. And so I think going into the room, and just saying, how has your bid? What how's your bid you're visiting today? You know, and being mindful of how you ask that question. Yeah. And pausing, actually just counting in your head. Three seconds. How has your visit been today with our team? And then let them let him respond? And then when they're done responding, count to yourself? 1231

Julie Soukup  26:39  
that so? Yeah, and so how am I so apical is like, how are you feeling today? How is the nurse team treating you? Well? How is it? How's it How have you been treated at your stay? You know, if they've been there for a little ways of even if it's something a doctor can't do, like I'm just cold or I'm hungry, or I'm nervous, like, you know, at least that that I'm hurt someone's asking me, and I'm going to be heard is huge

Sherrine Washington  27:07  
in how you ask, right? So most people, if they come in, they have a clipboard or something and they have papers. They're like, Hey, how are you doing right today? All right. So what we're going to do is that the way that I just said that is like, okay, check, check, check. I don't even care what the person said. They could have told me they had a bad day. I'm just asking you because you know, that's the right thing to do. Yeah. If you come into a room and you say, Hi, I'm Sheree. Your name is nice to meet you. You're doing okay today? 123. Right, there's a difference.

Julie Soukup  27:45  
There's a difference. There's a difference. There's a it's just

Sherrine Washington  27:49  
how you do it. Yeah, slow it down. really listen, and if the person says, oh, today was a ok day, some people would say okay, great. Well, actually, no, it's not. How difficult is it to say? Are you sure? Yeah, I'm not too convinced. Yeah. Oh, I had a horrible day. I went to public. Some people just want to say they want to share Yeah. Right. That in itself builds trust. Yeah, wanting especially now with COVID you know, everything has changed you go to the doctor now there's all these formalities. You got to call before you go in you gotta have your match but so we have dehumanised really patient interaction. It's tough. I don't like going to the doctor now you got a call? And then sometimes they're nasty. Well, we'll go come get you and then you come in you. So what can we do? Yeah, despite the world that we live in right now, to really help people feel important because the world that we live in right now it brings us down a notch. So small things you know,

Julie Soukup 29:01  
Shri in your tree always so appreciate your intellect and your wisdom and I think you know, so many of the things that you're saying are so applicable it's it's it's just crazy. So you know, I love it. I love what you're mentioning, you're like, you know, these are the hot things these are the things that write down and I think as we kind of you know, continue to you know, record patient videos we've recorded you know, about I think about 80,000 videos, I think these little tiny nuggets that take no time like very little time can be so applicable to make people feel more comfortable recording themselves more comfortable giving patients these video messages and just feeling like more equipped with tools in their tool, tube, tool, belt Lord, tool belt, to really give that patient a great experience and, and eventually the more they practice it, they don't have to think about it. It's just this every time you know, to get into that comfortable space. So thank you so much for your time. And refer for teaching us about your world a little bit. I appreciate you

Unknown Speaker  30:04  
and thank you for having me. All right, thank you so much.

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