If you are not moving closer to what you want in sales (or in life), you probably aren’t doing enough asking
The gift called asking has been around for a long, long time. In fact, one of life’s fundamental truths states, ask and you shall receive. Kids are masters at using this gift but we adults seem to lose our ability to ask. We come up with all sorts of excuses and reasons to avoid any possibility of rejection. Yet the world responds to those who ask. If you are not moving closer to what you want in sales (or in life), you probably aren’t doing enough asking.
Here are 7 asking strategies you should be implementing into your business to boost your bottom line: (and remember – all these strategies can be used in others of your life as well)
who, why, what, where, when and how
Asking Strategy #1 – Ask For Information
To win potential new clients, you first need to know what their current challenges are, what they want to accomplish and how they plan to do it. Only then can you proceed to demonstrate the advantages of your unique product or service. Ask questions starting with the words, who, why, what, where, when and how to obtain the information you need. Only when you truly understand and appreciate the needs of a prospect can you offer a solution.
more than 60 percent of the timesalespeople never ask for the order!
Asking Strategy # 2 – Ask For Business
Here’s an amazing statistic: After doing a complete presentation about the benefits of their product or service, more than 60 percent of the timesalespeople never ask for the order! That’s a bad habit, and one that could ultimately put you out of business.
Always ask a closing question to secure the business. Don’t waffle, talk around it, or worse, wait for your prospect to ask you. You have read good suggestions for these questions, like “Would you like to give it a try?’ The point is, just ask.
When is the best time?
Asking Strategy #3 – Ask For Written Endorsements
Well-written, results-oriented testimonials from highly respected people are powerful for future sales. They solidify the quality of your work and leverage you as a person who has integrity, is trustworthy and who gets the job done on time. Yet most people in sales don’t do this. That gives you a great opportunity to jump ahead of your competition. All you need to do is ask. When is the best time? Right after you have provided excellent service, completed a major project under budget, gone the extra mile to help out, or any other time you’ve made your customer really happy.
Simply ask if your customer would be willing to give you a testimonial about the value of your product or service, plus any other helpful comments.
Referrals, Referrals, Referrals and lots of them!
Asking Strategy #4 – Ask For Top-Quality Referrals
Just about everyone in business knows the importance of referrals. It’s the easiest, least-expensive way of ensuring your growth and success in the marketplace. In our experience, however, only one out of ten companies has a system for gathering referrals.
Your core clients will gladly give you referrals because you treat them so well. So why not ask all of them for referrals? It’s a habit that will dramatically increase your income. Like any other habit, the more you do it the easier it becomes.
Asking Strategy #5 – Ask For More Business
Salespeople lose thousands of dollars in sales every year because they have nothing more to offer after the initial sale. Look for other products or services you can provide your customers. Devise a system that tells you when your clients will require more of your products. The simplest way is to ask your customers when you should contact them to reorder. It’s often easier to sell your existing clients more than to go looking for new ones.
Asking Strategy #6 – Ask To Renegotiate
Regular business activities include negotiation. Many salespeople get stuck because they lack skills in negotiation. It’s another form of asking that can save a lot of time and money. All sorts of contracts can be renegotiated in your own personal life like changing your mortgage terms and rate. As long as you negotiate ethically and in the spirit of win-win, you can enjoy a lot of flexibility. Nothing is ever cast in store.
Asking Strategy #7 – Ask For Feedback
This is an important component of asking that is often overlooked. How do you really know if your product or service is meeting the needs of your customer? Ask them, “How are we doing? What can we do to improve our service to you? Tell us what you like about our products and what you don’t like. ” Set up regular customer surveys that ask good questions and tough questions. It’s a way to fine-tune your business.
…Four ways to ensure that your asking gets results
HOW TO ASK
Some people don’t enjoy the fruits of asking because they don’t ask effectively. If you use vague, unspecific language you will not be understood. Here are four ways to ensure that your asking gets results.
Be precise. Think clearly about your request. Take time to prepare. Use a notepad to pick words that have the greatest impact. Words are powerful, so choose them carefully.
Ask with Confidence
People who ask confidently get more than those who are hesitant and uncertain. When you’ve figured out what you want to ask for, do it with certainty, boldness and confidence. This does not mean being brash, arrogant or conceited.
Some people fold after making one timid request. They quit too soon. Keep asking until you find the answers. In sales there are usually four or five “no’s” before you get a “yes. ” Top producers understand this. When you find a way to ask that works, keep on asking it.
In this age of global competition, your asking may get lost in the crowd, unheard by the decision-makers you hope to reach. There is a way around this. If you want someone’s attention, don’t send an ordinary letter. Use your creativity to dream up a high- impact introduction.
When you really need help, people will respond. Sincerity means dropping the image facade and showing a willingness to be vulnerable. Tell it the way it is, lumps and all. Don’t worry if your presentation isn’t perfect; ask from your heart. Keep it simple and people will open up to you.
To learn more about the the power of asking, pick-up a copy of The Aladdin Factor audio course, which will give you even more pointers on how to use the Power of Asking to create MORE success in your life.
© 2006 Jack Canfield
***Jack Canfield, America’s Success Coach, is the founder and co-creator of the billion-dollar book brand Chicken Soup for the Soul and a leading authority on Peak Performance. If you’re ready to jump-start your life, make more money, and have more fun and joy in all that you do, get your FREE success tips from Jack Canfield now at: www.FreeSuccessStrategies.com