WHERE IS YOUR EMPHASIS?
ASKING FOR THE ORDER
There’s a movie with Mike Myers and Gwyneth Paltrow called “View From the Top.” It’s a light comedy and certainly worth renting. Mr. Myers plays an instructor in flight attendant school who, as usual, is a bit off-the-wall. For some weird reason he uses the phrase – “putting the emPHASIS on the wrong syLLABLE.” Get it? I think he’s saying that sometimes our focus can be misdirected. Kind of like worrying too much about the about the tail when there might be major issues with the dog.
I feel the same way when Sellers voice concerns regarding difficulties with asking for the sale, otherwise known as “closing the sale.” So much emphasis (emPHASIS?) is placed on whether someone is a “good closer.” (Check out “coffee is for closers” in David Mamet’s otherwise brilliant “Glengarry Glen Ross.”) We may need to at it look at it differently.
When done properly there should be a natural flow when “asking” in the sales process. Although we move from section to section – asking to telling to understanding objections, etc. – it needs to be done in a seamless manner. Many younger Sellers, and some veterans, become uncomfortable when it’s time ask for a commitment. Asking for the order should simply be a continuation of the asking process.
We need to appreciate that getting the business doesn’t always correlate with a proper “closing.” There are many factors that come into play when asking for the order and results are not always an accurate barometer. Perhaps we missed something earlier in the process. Maybe, personnel changes on the Buyer’s side happened. Financial problems? Remember, things change.
Conversely, just because we get the order doesn’t mean that we closed properly. Heck, sometimes we’re just plain lucky. Your client got a large piece of business. A budget got expanded. A competitor screwed up.
Remember that sales is a race to “need.” Get there as quickly as possible and then stick with something simple when asking for the order:
What do you think?
How’s that sound?
How ready are you to proceed?
This way we can emphasize what needs to be emphasized!
What do you think?
Good Selling to you!
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