Asking For the Order Every TimeFebruary 23, 2023
Have you ever gone on a vacation and arrived at your destination only to look down and realize you’ve been pulling an empty suitcase through the airport? Probably not. When we take on something this important (and likely expensive), we tend to be more careful to finish what we start in order to avoid disappointment. When we take on any endeavor worth doing, we generally try to check every box and see it through to the end. But salespeople often skip the most important part of a sale. And it’s usually out of fear of rejection.
Salespeople often rationalize not asking for the order, when this is the reason they’re in front of a prospect in the first place. They convince themselves that if they push too hard, they might ruin the opportunity. They believe that if they skip over this part, the prospect will call them back tomorrow or next week, and they will get the deal. However, this is just a rationalization that allows salespeople to let themselves off the hook and avoid asking for the order.
But the reality is that if you don’t close the deal, you’re just a brilliant conversationalist and an unpaid consultant. You don’t want to be an unpaid consultant, trust me. As Zig Ziglar used to say, “If you can’t close, you’re going to have skinny kids.”
Why Is It I’m Doing Here?
Everything you do in the sales process builds up to that moment when you have the opportunity to earn the right to ask for the order. Sales is all about earning trust and building relationships with prospects, and the relationship and trust are at their peak at the end of the sales process. If you wait until next week, they might have forgotten who you are and everything you’ve told them.
Let me say that again. It’s important to take advantage of the opportunity while the relationship is at its peak. You have to remember that “yes” is best in sales, but “no” is also an acceptable answer. Don’t be afraid of getting a “no” because if you get in the habit of asking for the sale, you’re not going to aggravate anybody. Instead, you’ll get a lot of “yeses,” which will never hurt you in your sales career.
What will hold you back is the “I don’t know” and “Let me call you back” responses. You should build a relationship, ask for the order, and simply wait for the response. You cannot rationalize and think that if you push too hard, you’ll make the prospect angry and they won’t call you back. Asking for the order is not going to make anyone angry. I know a lot of people who respect it even more when directly asking for the order instead of beating around the bush. They don’t like their time wasted and you should be able to tell when it’s the right moment to pull the trigger and ask.
Ask and Ye Shall Receive
By asking a couple of times firmly, respectfully, and directly for the order, you’re dramatically increasing the probability that they’ll say yes to you. Don’t be afraid to get a “no.” If you’re afraid of getting a “no,” you’ll leave a lot of business out there. You’ll find that you’ll get a bunch of “yeses” in between the occasional “no.”
Remember that “yeses” give you information and direction, and hearing a “no” also gives you information and direction. However, indecisive answers like “I’ll think about it,” “I’ll check with my spouse,” “Maybe in the future,” and “I’ll get back to you” don’t give any real information or direction. It’s like you’re attempting to defuse a bomb, and your partner tells you, “Maybe try cutting the blue wire…” Maybe?! That doesn’t help at all.
You should ask for the order every time, if for no other reason than to obtain information and direction. Make it a habit. It’s not high-pressure; it’s just letting the customer know that you’re a professional, and this step is a natural part of the process. Asking for the order will let you know if the prospect needs more data or if they’re ready to take action either way. That saves you valuable time in which you are either answering more questions, writing their order or moving on to the next prospect.