The Most Important Question to Ask
For all you romantics out there, the most important question might just be “Will you marry me?” But for anyone with a sales quota, the most important question is the one where you ask for the sale.
I write a lot about the importance of questions in a sales conversation. And the importance of listening too. That’s how you qualify prospects and how you discover what your prospect’s real needs are. It’s how you establish your credibility and how you continue to deepen the relationship you have with a prospect or a client.
What’s so interesting is how many people tell me that they are afraid to ask that final question – the one where the client answers, “Yes, I would like to work with you.”
Some people are really good at establishing rapport and building relationships. They’re really good at getting to know people and discovering what makes them tick. They ask a lot of excellent, compelling questions, and they listen well. But when it comes to asking for the business, they suddenly feel uncomfortable and they can’t quite make themselves do it.
Denise Duffield Thomas would have you believe that many people, women in particular, are afraid to ask for business because they don't think what they have to sell is worth anything. Among other reasons. Check out this video for more. And yes, ladies, you should watch this. Really. It’s laugh out loud funny!
And we’ve all heard of imposter syndrome. So yes, many of us may undervalue what we have to sell, but we still need to sell it.
So how do you ask for a sale?
There are so many ways! Which is good, because you want to have your own way of asking; one that feels good to you. And this is one case where a closed question is not just recommended, but required.
It doesn't have to be difficult. Take a deep breath, and then just ask.
The Direct Route to More Sales
Would you like to take that home with you today?
How much can I put you down for?
Can I add this to your cart?
Are you ready to sign a contract today?
Would you like fries (substitute any add-on you like) with that?
The Indirect Route to More Sales
If you’re still feeling anxious about asking for the sale, here are some softer ways to do it.
What needs to happen for us to work together?
How will this decision be made?
Is there anything stopping you from purchasing?
How can we get this [insert your product or service] implemented?
What are your thoughts on using [insert your product or service]?
And don’t forget, your prospect is expecting you to ask. In fact, they may be surprised if you don’t. After all, they’ve expressed some interest in your product or service, you’ve both invested time in getting to know each other and you’ve found a solution to their pressing problem. It would be odd if you didn’t ask for the sale!