How do I ask for the business?
“Always ask for the business, everything before that point is just flirting”
Often seen as the toughest part of selling is ‘the close’. I’d like you to change your language and no longer try to close anything. Things that are closed are over, regardless of the result. Things that are closed have ended. Instead, always strive to reach a ‘conclusion’. In Japanese the word ‘conclusion’ roughly translates to ‘horizon’ allowing for new beginnings and a continuation of a journey.
This said, you must always conclude on every interaction. Agree next steps, get firm times and dates, place orders, follow up with emails and further calls. The whole point of a sales interaction is to get a sale, maybe not on that call but it must be moving in that direction. To end a call with zero outcome makes everything within that call moot. Five, ten, 15 minutes is wasted without a conclusion, over a week that adds up to a long period of zero productivity.
When should I conclude?
There is never a bad time to ask for the business. Don’t see asking for the order as the end of the conversation, it is merely taking a step to move the sale forward. Listen for signs of interest, nods, customers placing both feet on the floor. “You know, I think this would be great for you. Should we give it a go?” The optimum time to conclude if you wish to cross or up-sell is at the end of the conversation when orders are already placed and the customer is in buying mode. There are many different phrases and techniques to use, some good, some less than useful. If you’re ever in doubt what to say simply ask for the order!
“You miss 100% of shots you don’t take” – Wayne Gretzky
Explain the steps to take following on from an order being placed and walk the customer through the process of placing an order.
“The best thing we could do right now……”
Once an order is agreed ‘post rationalise’ their decision. Confirm how great everything is going to be and discuss what support they have on top of the products they’ve purchased.