Don’t Ask Them to Buy, Ask How They Will

Photo courtesy of KOMUnews

Why do we sell?

Because it is the world’s greatest profession for how it allows us to make money by helping other people get products and services that they need and want.  In other words, we sell so that others can buy, and in doing so provide us with an income, job security, and move the economy forward on the engine of commerce.  Selling is ultimately about getting the customer’s signature on a contract, because until that act takes place nothing happens.

When it comes to that critical moment when the offer is made and the pen is laid down on the table, the way the offer was made has as much to do with the customer’s willingness to sign as does almost anything else.  This post will look at exactly how you should make your offer to the prospect so that buying is the inevitable conclusion.

If you’ve been in the profession of selling for any length of time, you’ve probably been told to always ask for the order.  I’m going to tell you something today that completely contradicts that advice when I say never, ever, ask a customer for the order.  That’s right, under no circumstance should you ever ask a customer to buy your product.  What you should do instead is ask the customer how they want to buy.

Here’s the difference.  When you ask a customer to buy, you focus all of their anxiety and fear over making a bad decision on that one moment of commitment.  Anxiety at that later stages of a sales call is already high because your prospect knows that you are going to ask them to commit to a purchase.  This is a scary prospect for many people who may not be accustomed to making major purchases, and who know that with a purchase comes the possibility of loss if the product or service is not what you’ve represented it to be.  Hopefully you have delivered a well structured presentation designed to reduce those fears, but no matter how convincing your presentation, rarely is all of that doubt eliminated.

If you ask a prospect a traditional buying question such as “So, would you like buy my product,” all of their fears, anxiety and doubts are focused on that singular commitment.  It is a lot to expect of a prospect to be able to say yes when they are asked to buy in this way.  The risk of making the wrong decision is much too directly linked with that act of saying yes to your question.  This makes it hard for a prospect to buy despite the need and want to do so.  It is our responsibility as sales professionals to make it easy for our prospect to buy, and the best way to do that is to separate the act of buying from a direct decision to buy.

Here’s what I mean by that.  Instead of asking the prospect to buy, ask them how they want to buy.  This creates enough separation between the fear of committing and the act of committing and allows your prospect to consent to the purchase without having to do so directly.  The best way to do this is to ask them a question that is secondary to the buying decision, a question that when answered implies a commitment without it every being directly expressed:  Mr. Prospect, the investment in this product is only $4,300, which I’m sure you will agree represents an excellent value.  Your ownership options include making the full investment today, or if it is more comfortable, making half your investment today and the balance on delivery.  Which of those options work best for you?

When your prospect responds by choosing an option, they have made the purchase without ever having to directly commit, thus avoiding the anxiety that would likely have resulted from having to do so, and that may have made them unable to.  The secondary question can be tailored to the terms you can offer, possibly involving a finance or installment option.  The important thing is that you are polished in the delivery of the question.  A great salesperson is always well rehearsed so the offer is presented with a confidence that the customer will perceive and give them confidence in the decision to buy.   Also remember that the question is always presented as an alternate of choice, that it to say as a choice between two options that both imply consent.

Use this technique and you will make it easy for your prospects to buy, resulting in more sales, more often, and with less effort.

Fantastic selling!

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