7 Tips That Make Asking for the Business Easy

November 28th, 2016

It’s tough being a good salesperson. Zig Ziglar summed it up nicely ‘timid salesmen have skinny kids’.

Research from a myriad of sources shows that sales people more often than not, walk away without asking the customer to sign on the dotted line.

There’s thousands of timid salespeople who walk away and just hope. Almost as many as there are shopkeepers who open the shop door and just hope. All they do is hope.

Hoping someone, anyone will ask to buy something, anything! They never ask the customer to buy.

If your business has stopped asking for sales, then become a customer for a minute. Understanding how your suppliers treat you can help you better serve your customers. The question is ‘what do you want from your suppliers?’

  • Someone who understands your business inside and out – the curious sales person
  • Someone who knows your pain, understands how their products solve your problems – the solution sales person
  • Someone who is pleased to do business with you – the confident sales person
  • Someone who you can rely on every time to deliver the last batch as good as the first – that’s the consistent sales person
  • Someone who gets to the point without the waffle – the clear and concise sales person.

But sales people should know this, shouldn’t they? Such a shame that they

  • Tell you everything about everything without taking a breath
  • Ask you a question and answer it for you; – although, of course it’s wrong
  • Only have one ear, alongside a very large motormouth
  • Are determined to sell you ‘X product’ when you don’t need or want it. They forget that you’ll only buy what you want or need; nothing more nothing less

If you want to be successful salesman here is a quick checklist:

  1. Ask open ended questions
  2. Ask the question and shut up, let the customer answer; I promise you’ll be amazed
  3. Listen to what you say, but also to what they don’t say
  4. Learn about their business, them and their challenges
  5. Understand, and I mean really understand, the problem they’re trying to solve
  6. Sell up the chain of command. You might have to do this, to get to the ultimate decision makers. Embrace it – don’t be precious about talking to a junior person
  7. Be flexible, work to your customer’s timetable not yours
  8. Start preparing the ground for the next sale whilst you’re still making this one.

And finally ASK FOR THE BUSINESS, your customer expects you to ask – so ask. Don’t do all the hard work then walk away hoping the customer will call you back and offer to buy the product. They probably won’t!

Sales, selling and buying should be a pleasurable, rewarding experience not a hard-fought battle for both sides. A smooth transaction where both sides respect each other, communicate clearly and understand what each other require.

What will you do next time: ask for the business or walk away?


Shirley Mansfield is a highly experienced business coach and Master Problem Solver. With over 25 years’ experience, she founded CoachSME in 2011 to work with business owners to maximise growth, and she is still trying to reduce the 14 handicap! Keep up to date by following me on Twitter @coachsme