I love everything about running my own business, except sales. How do you ask other people for money?
Many entrepreneurs find it difficult to ask for the sale. They started their business because they loved delivering their product or service, not because they loved asking other people for money. However, if you want your business to thrive and grow, you will need to practice asking for the sale. You may never become truly “comfortable” with this step in the process, but you can at least become proficient at it.
First, Build Rapport
There are some situations in which you can ask for the sale with no preamble, but in most cases, it is wise to develop some rapport with the prospective customer (or “prospect”) before you ask for the sale. Set up the conversation with a warm greeting. Inquire about the prospect’s needs. Listen carefully. Try to build a warm relationship. Repeat the prospects’ expressed needs back to them, so you can confirm that you understand.
Demonstrate and Confirm
Once you understand the needs, demonstrate how your product or service will meet those needs. It’s not necessary to describe every possible aspect of your offering – just the ones that will meet the prospect’s needs. Great salespeople are terrific listeners and strong communicators. Address any objections that arise during the demonstration. Once you have completed your demonstration, confirm with the customer that the offering meets the needs effectively.
State the Price and Address Objections
When you have confirmation that your offering can meet the customer’s needs, you are ready to state the price. The customer may raise new objections at this point (including the objection that the price is too high). Address any new objections as they arise. (If you would like to download a free ebook from Zenagos on how to identify and address customer objections, click here.)
Ask for Commitment
After you have addressed these objections, ask for the sale. Exactly how you ask will depend on your offering and on your personal style. Some sales are simple, while others require several steps (such as signing a contract, securing financing, and setting up a warranty). When you ask for commitment, you assume that the customer is ready to take the next step and then request that step. It may sound like, “How will you be paying for that? Cash? Credit? Debit?” Or, it may be a confirmation of a next step, such as, “So, I’ll sign you up for a Monday start, then?” Do not be surprised if the prospect resists this next step and raises another objection. That is a normal part of sales and nothing to cause concern. If you do get another objection, just repeat the cycle: address the objection and then ask for commitment again. Once you have done this a few times, it will start to feel more normal. The more you sell your offering, the more familiar you will become with the common objections and the best ways to address them.
What if the Sale Derails?
Some objections cannot be addressed on the spot. For example, the prospect may say that a decision cannot be made without another person – a co-decider. In this case, the sale cannot be made immediately. If the prospect raises an objection that requires follow-up, then schedule the follow-up and move on. You may be able to close the sale at a future date.
The reason you don’t need to worry about asking for the sale is this: The prospect expects it. Almost all people understand that products and services cost money. They expect to be asked for payment. So, you don’t need to feel bad about asking for fair market value for your offering. Remember, you are providing high value, and you are worth it.
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