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How to ASK for Business -- WITHOUT appearing Pushy

By Don Monteith
Posted Monday, January 31, 2005

GIVING Vs “SELLING”

Never lose sight of the importance of providing a “reason” to buy BEFORE you attempt to SELL anything to a client/prospect.

In the current business climate you have to GIVE first. The very first question from a buyer is.... what is the BENEFIT to ME? Why should I change from my present supplier?

GIVE in advance of asking a prospective client/customer to buy from you. Don’t even bring up your service or product BEFORE you have completed your investigative homework.

YOUR PROSPECT ASKS --

Does my company need your service? Do we need your product? Do you have the QUALITY that we expect (demand)? Can you match your competitors pricing? Discounts? Delivery? Is your customer service better than our current supplier? Why should I change?

Your prospect is saying, “what have you done for me lately?” What is your USP (Unique Selling Proposition)? Are you DIFFERENT from the rest of the pack? Give me your elevator speech. 30 seconds! What do you do? Give it to me straight to the point and quick.

ADVERTISERS ARE SHOUTING

Huge FULL-page ads fill our local newspapers. TV overwhelms us with the latest fashions. The car manufacturers are “shouting” their best deals. “Infomercials” are “selling” us everything from diamonds to bread-makers. Magazines are bulging with STUFF. Copywriters are telling us we can’t LIVE without it. Subtle persuasions are invading our psychic to motivate action.

INSTITUTIONAL ADVERTISING

After the pretty girls and cute guys, what’s next? From the school of mail order and Internet marketing an “Institutional” AD does not compute for us. In advertising “vernacular” (mine) it is known as “NO action” advertising.

Name recognition is the game. Accountability is the same. Just LOOK at me. Do nothing! NO suggestions are made for me to take action. By some of the more “astute” promoters it is called “awareness/image” marketing.

SALES ASSOCIATES

Too many “on the road” salespersons follow the same logic. You, as a business owner or manager, have a continuing imperative to educate. Train. Teach the basics. ASK for the order! When you have done your “homework” it is OK to ask for a response. A commitment to buy.

Many don’t ask for the order because you might be considered high pressure (pushy!). Once you have earned the ear of your audience (buyer) then it is up to you to “bring home the bacon”… get the order! One way or the other, you have to ASK. Lead to a conclusion.

Educate. Inform. Show and tell. Introduce your product through sampling. Try our product and compare it to the competition. Build your creditability with value-added service and NEW offerings in the future.

Remember AIDA? Get their Attention. Create Interest. Cause Desire. ACTION!

MAIL-ORDER AND THE INTERNET

A little background.... I spent 4 years of my early career in the mail-order business. Long before Sharper Image and many others appeared on the scene. A good experience with some unusual turn of events.

Mail order and Internet marketing have much in common. Very similar tracking abilities regarding sales and sources. No guesswork allowed. Spend DOLLARS and we expect SALES. No in-between options for the mail order or Internet guru.

If an AD fails to pay for itself then you regroup and punt. Try another route to reach your goal. You test the headlines. The “body” copy of the letter. Name lists. Op-in lists. The by-word in mail order and Internet marketing is TEST, TEST and TEST some more.

You’ve heard the 'link' in Real-estate values. Location! Location! Location! If you are in the right place (selling) it can mean increased profit. Buying? You will pay a higher price because of the location.

Build your home in the “right” neighborhood. If not, then you may come up a few hundred grand short on “sale” day. Good advice to remember when you buy/build a new home.

Every industry seems to have a “connector” to success.

You or I will never understand the physic of the marketplace. Trying to find the “trigger” that will make your subscribers (customers) or prospects respond takes constant testing. Asking for the order in many different ways.

Action Tip: Good business owners GIVE first. You don’t have to shout when you have the goods. Each customer/prospect is different and needs to be understood. Test everything you can. Educating your customer/prospect is primary to your success. Keep an open mind. Ask questions. Learn and grow.

About the Author
Don Monteith spent 32 years in the Staffing Business and built a multi-million dollar enterprise. His firm placed thousands of job candidates in their dream job. Today, he shares from his experiences in building a successful business. Learn more at his website: (http://www.HowToGetYourDreamJob.com)