Wednesday, March 15, 2006

Make The Ask

Need some help? Just ask.

I am amazed at how many people know that they need assistance from co-workers to reach their potential, but fail to ask. I guess people would rather simmer in mediocrity than appear to look weak. (Guess what, asking for help is rarely seen as weakness.....failing to excel is however).
I am equally amazed at how many professionals never ask prospects for their business. They meet with them, pitch their product or service and wait. And wait. And wait. And then wait some more.

Part of selling is closing the business. You will never win if you do not close. Making the prospect make a decision (hopefully "yes") will usually only happen if you are the one who instigates bringing the sales cycle to a conclusion. I once sold print advertising, and the greatest part was that we had a press deadline. From the first day I would meet with a potential customer we both knew they had to decide by press time. It made forcing a decision much easier.

Not all businesses have hard deadlines. Hiring a new law firm, bank or consultant may or may not be tied to a specific date. Thus if you do not ask for the business, the prospect has no compelling reason to take action.

And there is no bad answer. If they say "yes"...well, CONGRATULATIONS! got a new client. If they say "no" that just means "not this time", Congratulations, you know that this company is not buying today (so you can focus you attention on another company). And, they become a prospect for next time. Sometimes it takes years to win the business. If they say "no", do not write them off. Stay in touch with them. Be tenacious.

I challenge you...find three things to ask for before Friday. Ask co-workers for help, ask clients for referrals, and asks prospects to give you their business.

Have A Great Day.

Thom Singer

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