Every sales rep knows this situation. We’ve talked to the client, made an appointment to see them, gathered information, done a demo and trial, sent a proposal, waited, called, called again, and then … You guessed it. Nothing!
We end up with a stale prospect in our pipeline and a sales manager who keeps asking us WHY this deal is not getting closed as it moves from month to month! What’s going wrong?
How Do You Ask for the Order? Ask for the Order!
Many sales campaigns falter and fail because we are simply not ASKING for the order! If you have done everything right in the course of a sales campaign, then you have EARNED the right to ASK for the order! Do it! (Apologies to Nike).
The client is more often than not waiting to be closed, so ASK for the order! I have seen too many instances where the rep does not ASK for the order because of a lack of confidence in themselves or in how they have conducted the sales campaign or other fears, all of which are nothing to be ashamed of. Many times we fail to ASK for the order because we are afraid of hearing the “No” and losing a prospect.
Don’t Be Afraid to Hear the Word “NO”!
Well, here is a basic fact: If you hear “No” that does not always mean “Never” or NO way or “I want to you to leave now” or “You are a bad person or a bad sales rep”, but more often it means you need to do some more investigation to understand the issues and objections.
I have seen many “No’s” go to “Where do I sign” more times that I can count. If you hear “No”, then BE CONFIDENT! That’s when selling and the fun starts! If you know your product and you know your customer and you are using solid sales techniques, such as SPIN selling (more about that later), then you know when it is right to ASK for the order!
Now, I know full well that asking for the order can be hard and at times scary and I can tell you from personal experience it gets easier as you get older! One reason it can be hard to ASK for the order is a fear of rejection or not feeling confident. If you don’t ASK for the order you will not know what the client’s objections are and you will never know quite where you stand.
Once you know the objections, you know what you have to do to close the deal and move ahead. The “N” in SPIN is all about needs payoff questions. This allows you to ASK for the order in a way that it will close.
Should You Ask for the Order at the Beginning of the Sales Cycle?
Here is something else. If you are conducting all of your sales campaigns in that linear way, then ask yourself if you need to do it that way each time. Is your prospect someone who already knows the products and therefore you could have ASKED for the order during an initial conversation? Or is that prospect someone who you have the confidence that you answered all there questions and did a good demo, probed for needs and then just did not ASK for the order?
Why stretch out a sales campaign for all eternity because we think we have to go through all of the steps, when you could have had the order if you just ASKED! I promise you if you make a commitment to ask for the order more often and earlier at times, you will be surprised and find yourself with more orders and shortened sales cycles-or at the very least you will know very well which clients are real and which are not. This result is a very accurate pipeline (and a happier rep and manager!) I do know, without hesitation, if you ASK for the order more often and consistently you will CLOSE more orders.
If you don’t treat ASKING for the order like it’s akin to buying a house, then the client will not either. Clients look at times for you for clues-give them BUYING clues. Casually ask them “can I place that order for you now” or if you want to be more subtle try “can we move ahead with the paperwork?” They will say YES in many cases. If not, don’t panic! You know where you stand and what you have to do. ASKING for the order, along with effective use of selling techniques is like taking a temperature to see where you are.
Don’t Forget SPIN Selling!
Finally, you have seen that I have referred to SPIN selling in this conversation. If you have never had SPIN selling, then find a class, ask your boss or get the book. Its on of the best parts of sales!
- S-Situation Questions
- P-Problem Questions
- I-Implication Questions
- N-Needs Payoff Questions
So, on your next call, ASK for the order-I dare you!
As always, let me know what you think…and Good Selling!
*** Did you like this post? Then please sign up for my free Sales Culture E-Newsletter ***