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How to Ask for the Order

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How to Ask for the Order

“C’mon, are you going to buy or not?  Give me an answer!  I haven’t got all day!”  You might be tempted, but you would never say that to a prospect.  You are tactful.  You are subtle.  You still want the order.  How can you ask prospects to make a decision without making it uncomfortable?

You’ve learned about trial closes.  “Does this make sense to you?”  “”Are you comfortable with that?”  These closed end questions get yes or no answers.  The logic is a series of “Yes” answers is rarely followed by a “No” at the close.  Like racehorses, some advisors falter at the last hurdle, asking for the order.  After presenting your proposal, the prospect might say: “That’s food for thought.  I’ll get back to you.”  How can you urge the prospect to make a decision?

If you’ve watched the TV series “Weakest Link” you know the contestants are allowed to “Ask the Audience.”  I did the same thing, interviewing and surveying successful advisors.  I asked them: “How do you ask for the order?”  Here are the best six approaches I heard:

  1. “Are you ready to address the issues?”
  2. “Are you comfortable enough with the recommendations to proceed?”
  3. “What do you think? Can we proceed with the plan?”
  4. “Can I have your business?”
  5. “Can you see yourself benefitting from the strategy?”
  6. “I want to work for you. I need the go ahead from you.”

What Do These Approaches Have in Common?

As you read those six approaches, you see several similarities:

  1. They are all closed end questions. The answer should only be yes or no.
  2. “No” is the uncomfortable answer. Try it out.  Answer “no” to each of the questions.  How does it feel?
  3. The word “you” is present in each approach. This reinforces the proposal and relationship is about the prospect, the person sitting across the table. 

What Happens Next?

Each of these approaches should be pretty good at eliciting a “yes” answer.  You can’t say “Done!” pack up and leave!  The prospect needs to understand what they have agreed to do.  You need to get any necessary paperwork completed.  You need to read back and later confirm the order has been executed.

However, the six approaches listed above smooth out the “asking for the order” moment that follows presenting your proposal.

Related: What Do People Say About You Behind Your Back?

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