Tuesday, January 18, 2011

It's time to Ask

Today we have a guest post from Randy Clark of TKO Graphics:

Earn the right to ask for the order!

  • Have you listened to your customer and determined their needs?
  • Can you fulfill those needs?
  • Have gathered helpful information?
  • Have you educated your customer about what fits their needs best?
  • Do you focus on your customer’s best interests?
  • Are you building long-term relationships with your customers?

If your answer is yes – you have earned the right to ask for the order.

Furthermore, if you have been a good consultant, it is only fair to your customer to ask them for their business. If you do not ask, could someone less qualified, invested, or concerned get his or her business? It happens every day.

So…why haven’t you asked for the order? Most decision makers will say no several times before they say yes…to somebody, yet most consultants only ask once or never ask for the order. Here’s why:

  • You don’t want to be pushy – so you wait for them to contact you.
  • The customer is you friend – they will let you know what they need.
  • You don’t like it when you’re asked for the order – everyone must think like you.
  • You are afraid of rejection – you are the only one.
  • You don’t know how to ask – let’s talk about how to ask.

Have you ever had a customer, you considered a friend, place an order with someone else without consulting you? How’d that wait for them, don’t ask strategy work?

How to ask

You can only ask when you have earned the right to ask.

Here are a few simple ways to ask.

  • How’s that sound?
  • If I could do _______may I earn your business?
  • I build relationships with customers; may we start our relationship with this order?
  • “Let me prove to you who we are! Let’s start small with _______.

How to look and sound confident (even if you are afraid!)


Sit or stand straight, do not slouch. Face the customer, smile, and maintain eye contact.

When the customer is talking try clasping your hands.


Present a neat, clean, professional, appearance geared to the client. If you can set yourself above your competition do it.


Keep in mind more people retain what they see rather than what they hear. Set up a prez on your laptop or mobile. Post a video on you tube. Use brochures, company books, samples, testimonials, photos etc.

What should you share?

We are all looking for people we can trust to solve our problems. What makes you trustworthy? Is it time in business, experienced tenured employees? Is it others you have helped? What problems do you solve? Do you have exclusive equipment or systems?

What is your unique position? What sets you apart?


Use lowered inflection. Think sheet music – descending scale. Start with a higher note and go down. It’s what we all do when we are confident. When we are afraid or unsure - we use rising inflection, which starts low and rises in a question. Lowered inflection shows confidence while rising inflections shows fear, which creates distrust. Would you ask some one to dance with rising inflection? “Would you dance with me?” (Please. please, please) How about telling your child, “go clean your room now?” How do you think that would go over?

Once you have asked for the order, sit back, relax, smile, and listen. Don’t speak. Pay attention, wait for your customers thoughts.

You are not always on your customers mind. You may not be there when the light bulb goes off, and they see the need your product or service. Who will be there? I have always found believing in my product and caring for my customer is a constant source of confidence. Earn the right. Help your customer. Ask for the order.

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