Sales 101: Asking for the Order
“Ask, and you shall receive”, a biblical principal that offers some of the best sales advice for beginning salespeople and experienced sales professionals alike. The best sales presentation imaginable generally will not yield the desired results unless the salesperson asks for the business.
Is this advice just for persons who make their living offering products and services to others for a commission? Yes, of course, but it is actually for all of us. After all, everybody sells! Surprised? Everybody does sell, although many people may not realize it at the time or think of themselves as salespeople. We sell ourselves and our ideas everyday.
In the job interview setting, we are selling the potential employer as to why we are the best person for the job. The boy who desires to date the girl he is enamored with must sell her as to the benefits of going out with him. The man proposing marriage to his sweetheart is selling her as to the lifelong benefits of being with him only. We all sell, in one manner or another, although possibly not in the traditional sense.
Selling, distilled down to its most basic roots, is simply the matching of benefits to needs and desires. The salesperson acts as the broker who is simply bringing the product or service to the table so that the buyer can be shown the personal benefits of ownership or use. Under ideal circumstances, the salesperson’s purpose is simply to help the buyer purchase what he needs or wants. It is a win-win scenario for both. There is no coercion.
What is missing in many sales presentations however, is the final close… asking for the order. I have witnessed countless sales presentations during my career where the salesperson has done a magnificent job in making her presentation. She answered all of the objections. She probed and used trial closes along the way. At the peak of the presentation, the crescendo… she says “have a nice day” or “I’ll see you next time” or “call me when you are ready” or some other lame comment and then turns to walk away. She never asked for the order!
My sales motto has always been, “Ask, or the answer is always no”, and it really is. We must always perform the next natural step in the progression of our wonderful sales presentation, after the objections have been answered, and that is to ask the customer to make a buying decision now. This is the reason why there are salespeople. We would not be needed otherwise.
After all, an interested potential customer can go to the internet these days and learn just about every fact imaginable concerning our products or service. He can also examine our competitors. The customer is better educated than ever before. The salesperson must be at least as well educated as her customer as to the features, advantages and benefits of her own products and services, as well as those of her competitors. Keeping these facts in mind, what then is the role of the salesperson? Salespeople exist to close the sale. That is all.
As salespeople, if we fail to ask for the order, seldom will we actually receive the business and related commissions we desire. So… “Ask, and you shall receive.”