Most people are reluctant to take the one action that produces results. If you do not understand why a statement is made, or, desire something special at work, Ask! The Nike slogan comes to mind, “Just Do It!”
Asking is the key to effective selling.
The ask will produce results, but beware that some answers you will like while others not so much. Nevertheless, the answer you seek will provide direction for how to proceed.
As answers are delivered, observe whether they are answered directly and completely. I learned that when our inquiries are avoided, it is important to stand our ground to ask more in-depth questions. It’s the only way the truth reveals itself. More disturbing is when the other party has difficulty looking you in the eye or stammers in their reply. In these instances, we usually need to prepare ourselves to walk from the association.
On the good news side, clients appreciate the honesty when you ask for clarification. Most salespeople gloss over something they don’t quite understand. By the time their proposal is presented, the lack of understanding is evident. Consequently, the sale is lost. It is those who spend the time to comprehend the client’s perspective and goals, and everything associated, who are better able to present an accurate proposal. These folks are far more likely to earn the sale. They conclude the presentation with the following two questions:
- “Is this everything you hoped for?” Upon hearing yes, the second question is,
- “When would you like to get started?”
Career advancement also requires an ask. One needs to inquire about the possibility available, milestones needed, and the timeline to make the promotion happen. Last but not least is to ask for a salary increase. Always ask for more than you believe you will be offered. Normally, less is offered on salary negotiation than what you request. So if you ask for more, the lower amount provided will be somewhat closer to your actual expectations.
Raise the bar by asking!
Are you asking enough questions? The upside of asking questions is that it provides the vehicle for your prospective clients to carry on in conversation. Asking with a friendly tone and inviting insight regarding their experiences energizes the give and take of the dialogue. The more you ask, and the greater the interest you show will go a long way to differentiate yourself from others in your field. Take time to review your past activities in client meetings.
- Do you ask enough questions that point you in the right direction?
- Are the responses helpful?
- Do your questions need tweaking?
If you are struggling with sales and need help, consult with peers doing well, and pick up a few sales books for weekend reading. Aside from my books, SPIN selling is a favorite for remembering which questions to ask.
The ask produces results because you make the other person feel respected and important. Respect is not widely distributed. When you take the time to make someone feel good about themselves, they reward you in turn. As the relationship develops, more sales will grow both in volume and size.
- Ask for clarification on matters you don’t quite understand.
- Ask why you were called in for an appointment.
- Ask about difficulties encountered.
- Ask for the client perspective for resolving the issues.
- Ask if other solutions have been or will be explored.
- Ask their thought on the advantages of the other solutions.
- Ask what you need to bring to the table to be seriously considered.
- Ask for final details of what will put you at the top of the list.
- Ask which options the client prefers and when they would like to get started.
- Celebrate Success!
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