A lot of us have trouble asking for what we want. Whether it’s a date, the largest slice of pizza out of the pie or a more convenient time to meet a friend for coffee, humans tend to be agreeable and go with the flow as a situation plays out. This means, unless the other person is really enthusiastic about you, that date will never materialize out of thin air (two people don’t randomly show up at a sushi joint at the same time), the woman behind the counter will serve you the slice closest to her and your friend will suggest only what’s convenient to her schedule.
This has reduced you to a passive player in your own life. Don’t feel too bad, though. We’re all susceptible to it. And we all have the power to change it. Here is also where the magic comes in. Let me repeat: HUMANS TEND TO BE AGREEABLE. So use that to your advantage. Set the stage properly. Do your research. Explain how your products and services can make your prospect’s life easier. Be prepared for questions and concerns. And then ask for the sale!
That little piece of the puzzle is absent way too often in sales. I see it all the time. A customer will come into, say, Best Buy, and head straight to the tablets. An associate will spend time with her, follow all the preceding steps to a T and then show the customer out the door. When a conversation lulls, there is a high chance the prospect will say “Anyway, thanks for your help. Enjoy the rest of your day” and walk out. Now, I’m not suggesting aggressive tactics that give salespeople a bad name. Instead, I’m pleading with you to ask for what you want. The sale! You can do this without ever hearing the phrase “no.”
Give them control.
The easiest way to get someone to remain agreeable is to let them feel that this was their idea and they are the ones in control.
What works best for you? Wednesday morning or Thursday morning?
Is a substantially better question than…
Would you like to come in for a meeting?
Keep the conversation going.
As in the Best Buy scenario, results will stall if you run out of things to say and don’t ask for the sale.
What happens next? Tell me your thoughts.
Will yield the next actionable step, versus…
Can I get your full name to start your application?
Always remember this is a huge investment for most people. Give them an open, comfortable forum to address their hang-ups. Listen patiently, empathize with their comments and then explain how your solution solves their problem.
Do you have any questions for me?
Allows them to air their concerns, instead of…
So that’s it. Ready to sign up?
Do not let the conversation stall without moving the sale along to the next actionable phase. These are small tweaks that can yield big results.