If you are not moving closer to what you want in sales [or in life], you probably aren’t doing enough asking. – Jack Canfield
Asking Is Selling
A story was told about an outrageous insurance policy purchase by Henry Ford. The story got the attention of a close friend of Mr. Ford who was noticeably upset because he was in the insurance business. He thought his friend should have given him the business. Mr. Ford’s friend went to him and asked why he had not bought the policy from him. Henry Ford’s exceptional answer is an eye opener to every salesman and all professionals. He said, ‘‘You didn’t ask Me.’’
How many of your relatives, friends, schoolmates, church members, etc, know about your business? Have you told all the people in your phone list about your business? Little things done properly matter in sales; you are supposed to be your own billboard. Nobody can sell you more than you. Tell everyone what you do. Tell them about your products and services. Ask them to buy your products and service. Just ask!
Ask Via The Right Medium
Find the right medium to communicate to prospects and customers. I talked about the social media in my previous article. You can apply this strategy. You can also use phone messages or even word of mouth. Whatever way you want to apply, ensure it’s effective and efficient. The main goal here is to let the right people know what you do. If you don’t say, nobody will know. If you don’t say ‘I am here,’ no one will discover you because folks may not necessarily discover you until you tell. If you don’t ask, you may not get. If you don’t ask for the order, you may not sell the product. Asking propels an action. The more you ask, the more you get.
Don’t take things for granted. In sales, you are required to do what is necessary and follow up. You must take the right actions. You don’t assume – you initiate actions and create the things you want to see; you ask for what you want. When you fail to ask, you will likely fail to receive. If you don’t ask, you won’t get. It is a sales rule to always ask for the Order.
When You Ask, Listen
Two important skills to acquire in communication – whether in personal or professional life are ability to listen and ability to ask questions. If you can develop the skill to ask the right questions at the right time, and the patience to listen attentively in order to get the right answers, then success is near to you.
In the sales world, asking and listening bring out the hidden treasures in the prospect. When you ask the right questions and listen as if you are paid to just listen to the prospect – unsaid things that will lead to the closing would be made known to you. Let asking the right questions during sales conversation be one of the strategies you will adopt after reading this piece.
Listen to be informed and be guided properly. Listen to know in order to act accurately. The man who listens, during a conversation hears the unsaid. Effective listening is when you are able to hear what is said and what is not said. Sometimes, the most important part of the communication is not voiced. You need to decode them yourself during the process and you do this when you know the art of effective listening. When you apply effective listening skills, you listen with your ears, heart, eyes, and even with your mouth! Effective listening requires total attention. This is how to learn; this is how to unravel what is hidden.
Between Effective And Partial Listening
Effective Listening is different from Partial Listening. In effective listening, you listen with the intention to understand, communicate and act better. Effective listening is Total Listening. Partial Listening is different and not total listening. The receiver of the message in partial listening – listens with the intention to respond and not with the intention to understand. He listens to what he wants to hear and tunes off from what he doesn’t want to hear. The listener makes up his mind even before the sender of the message begins to talk!
In partial listening, the receiver of the message listens for formality sake; he listens in pretense. When the sender of the message talks, the receiver of the message merely waits for him to end his rhetoric! Sometimes, the receiver of the message cuts in without waiting for the sender to conclude. This is because he is listening with the intention to respond from a predetermined position, and not with the intention to communicate effectively. He has made up his mind already. This listening style does not build a relationship because it is discourteous. The two methods: Effective and Partial types of listening are two distant poles that cannot meet. The former is ideal; while the latter should not be practiced at all. Partial listening leads to ineffective communication. Salesmen should note this.
Sales success is a journey. You must prepare your mind for this journey if you truly want to be a successful salesman. Sales Pros are never in a hurry. Don’t be in a hurry to sell. This is where many salesmen get it wrong. You need to explore the world of the prospect or customer; you need to discover their world by the means of asking and listening. The needs you want to find a solution for are hidden within the prospects or customers and it takes the process of effective communication skills to unravel them. You sell when you discover. Let this be your guide.