Too many sales people don’t ask for the things they need or that could help them increase their sales and grow their business.

Developing the confidence and ability to ask for the things you need is an essential sales skill. Here are twelve situations that sales (and business) people need to summon up the courage to ask.

1. Ask for help. First and foremost, if you need help it is essential that you ask. Ask the top sales person in your company for ideas, advice and feedback. Ask your boss for coaching or direction. Ask people in your network for insights and suggestions to improve your results.

2. Ask for the appointment. Too many people beat around the bush and don’t ask a new prospect for an appointment. This strategy can result in more meetings which will lead to more sales. Try asking, “Does it make sense for us to meet?”

3. Ask more high-value questions. After 15 years of training sales people, I have found that the majority simply don’t ask enough high-value questions. High-value questions force your prospect or customer to think and will give you insight to their current situation, problems and desired outcomes. It sounds simple but more people feel uncomfortable asking these types of questions because they think they are too probing and they feel that their prospect will be offended.

4. Ask for clarification. When someone says something that is vague or unspecific, seek clarification. Ask, “Can you elaborate on that?” or “Tell me more” or “What do you mean by that?”

5. Ask for commitment. When a prospect or customer says, “Call me next week” pursue that statement by asking, “What day should I call?” If they say, “Anytime is fine” ask, “Does next Tuesday work?” Then ask what time is the best to connect with them. If they respond with, “Anytime is good” ask, “Is mid-morning at 10:15 a good time?”

6. Ask them to schedule the call in their calendar. Once they agree to a specific day and time, ask them to place that call in their calendar and follow up by sending them an Outlook (or other time management system) appointment.

7. Ask for the sale. Many deals have been lost because the sale person did not want to ask for the sale so after every sales presentation, sales call, or meeting, make sure you ask for the sale. It’s as simple as asking, “May I have your business?”

8. Ask for a referral. Whether you get the deal or not, you should ask you contact if they would be willing to refer you to someone in their network. It helps when you can clearly describe your ideal client.

9. Ask for a testimonial. When you have completed your work with that client, ask them for a testimonial. Video testimonials work best followed by an audio recording. At the very least, get a written endorsement of your work.

10. Ask why a prospect does not want to do business with you. If someone does not choose you as their vendor ask, “I’m always looking to improve. May I ask what influenced your decision?”

11. Ask what concerns they have. Most sales people I have worked with hesitate to ask this because they don’t want to know if their prospect has any concerns. However, my perspective is that you need to know this upfront so an unexpected objection doesn’t derail your efforts.

12. Ask who else may be involved in the decision. You can easily phrase this by asking, “Who else will you need to discuss this with?” When they tell you, ask, “Can we set up a day/time to collectively talk about this?”

Summon up the courage and start asking. You have nothing to lose and everything to gain.

© MMXI Kelley Robertson, All rights reserved.

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