In a previous post, I mentioned that my 23-year-old grandson asked for my sales advice. He’s never been in sales, until now. He recently accepted a sales position. One of the mistakes I see often with salespeople is when they’ve earned the right to ask for the order but hesitate or don’t ask for the sale. So, how does a salesperson earn the right to ask for the order?
- Have you listened to your customer and determined their needs?
- Can you fulfill their needs?
- Can you solve a problem?
- Have you educated your customer about what fits their needs best
- Did you focus on your customer’s best interests?
- Are you building long-term relationships with your customers?
If your answer is yes – you’ve earned the right to ask for the order.
Are You a Salesperson or a Consultant?
Furthermore, if you’ve been a good consultant, it’s only fair to your customer to ask for their business. If you don’t ask, could someone less qualified, invested, or concerned get their business? It happens every day. Have you ever had a customer, you considered a friend, place an order with someone else without consulting you?
So, why haven’t you asked for the order? Most decision makers will say no several times before they say yes … to somebody, yet most consultants only ask once or twice, and some never ask for the order. Here’s why:
- You don’t want to be pushy so, you wait for them to contact you.
- The customer is a friend, and they’ll let you know what they need.
- You don’t like it when you’re asked to make a buying decision and everyone must think like you.
- You are afraid of rejection. Guess what, nearly everyone dislikes this so, get over it
- You don’t know how to ask. Let’s talk about how to ask.
How to Ask
You can only ask when you have earned the right to ask.
Here are a few simple ways to ask.
- How’s that sound?
- If I could do _______may I earn your business?
- I build relationships with customers; may we start our relationship with this order?
- Let me prove to you who we are! Let’s start small with _______.
How to Look and Sound Confident (even if you are afraid!)
Sit or stand straight, don’t slouch. Face the customer, smile, and maintain eye-contact.
When the customer is talking, clasp your hands, look them in the eye and listen. DO NOT interrupt.
Present a neat, clean, professional, appearance geared to the client.
Involve Multiple Senses
Keep in mind more people retain what they see rather than what they hear. Set up a presentation on your laptop or mobile. Post a video on YouTube. Use brochures, company books, samples, testimonials, photos, etc.
Use lowered inflection. Think sheet music – descending scale. Start with a higher note and go down. It’s what we all do when we’re confident. When we’re afraid or unsure we use rising inflection, which starts low and rises to become a question. Lowered inflection shows confidence while rising inflections shows fear, which creates distrust. What do you think would happen if you asked someone to dance using rising inflection? “Would you dance with me?” (Please. please, please.) How about a rising inflection filled pleading tone asking your child to, “Go clean your room now?” How do you think that would go over?
Confidence Inspires Trust
We’re all looking for people we can trust to solve our problems. So, be someone clients can trust. However, as confident as any salesperson may present themselves, without substance the trust will soon fade.
What Makes Anyone Trustworthy?
- Time in business
- Experienced tenured employees
- Positive reviews and testimonials
- Keeping promises, not over-promising, and then under delivering
- Timely and informative communication
When You’ve Earned the Right, Ask for The Order
I have always found believing in my product and caring for my customer is a constant source of confidence. Earn the right. Help your customer. Ask for the order.
Once you’ve asked for the order, sit back, relax, smile, and listen. Don’t speak. Pay attention, wait for your customer’s thoughts.
The bottom line is a great consultant helps people. They keep promises, solve problems, deliver the goods, and they ask for the order.
Photo Credit: Unsplash Photos Photo by Andrew Neel