Asking for a sale is similar to asking somebody out on a date. A lot of effort and time can be put in ahead of time without you knowing whether it will pay off or not.
In the world of dating, this can sometimes work out just fine. However, when asking for a sale, it can be very frustrating. Everyone you encounter has a problem. You can solve some of the problems. By clearly and quickly communicating this fact, you can get to your ask and avoid having to waste a lot of time.
What Is The Problem?
It isn’t always easy to build the scaffolding for your ask by focusing on a problem. If you start having a discussion with a referral, it can be tricky. It can feel nearly impossible if you go into the conversation cold. If you don’t build up properly towards the ask, it can be abrasive and awkward for everybody who is involved.
Instead of trying to prove yourself to the other person, focus on learning about them.
You are at a networking event. A total stranger comes up to you and shakes your hand. In this situation, what should you do?
Do you start to ramble about what you do or who you are? No. The problem is not revealed that way. Ask questions instead. Got to know the other person. The following are a few questions you can ask to get the process started:
- What is a day in your life like?
- What is your area of expertise?
- How long have you been involved in the business?
- What type of growth are you experiencing?
- What types of challenges are you currently facing?
- To get to the next level, what do you need?
Any specific question might or might not fit into the flow of your conversation. It isn’t necessary for to you go through all of them like a checklist. Focus instead on being truly interested in learning as much as you can about the person.
Allow them to do a majority of the talking, take notes on the things they are talking about. Where are they currently at? What problems are faced with right now? Can you solve their problems? Focus on the things that are wrong and then build toward what you can do to make things right.
The Next Step To Take When Asking For The Sale
The individual you are having a conversation with has a problem. You believe you can fix it. So how do you go from establishing what the problem is to then asking for the sale? Ask more questions.
At that point, you will want to collect some more information but get to your ask quickly at the same time. Learn more about how they are structured currently and if they might be open to working with you. For instance:
- Who is currently doing your marketing?
- Is partnering with an outside vendor something you would consider?
- What would your perfect marketing partner be like?
- I would like to follow up with you and provide you with a brief presentation on our capabilities if you believe your company might benefit from this relationship. Do you have a business card so that I can follow up with you?
The Bottom Line
When you establish what the problem is and focus on the prospective client rather than yourself, it helps you develop a scaffolding that lifts you naturally to asking for the sale. It will not feel forced or awkward. It will not appear to come completely out of anywhere. It will instead highlight you as being the solution to their problem.
After you have established what the problem is, the other individual will be searching for a solution. If you are the solution, it will make it much easier for you to get the sale.