The big question we forget to ask customers and prospects

This post by Brenda Do,

Posted in Advertising, Business Start-Up, Communications, Customer Relations, Marketing

The big question we forget to ask customers and prospects

While enjoying dinner with friends, their 9-year old son suddenly asked, “Aunt Brenda,
do you have a muffin top?”

His parents instantly looked up in horrified embarrassment.

I didn’t mind. I figured if the boy’s brave enough to ask, he deserves an answer. So I told
him the truth: “Well, it depends on how tight my pants are that day.”

That made me think about all of the questions we business people ask our customers.
Of all we remember to ask, many of us forget to ask one of the most important question
of all.

That is, we forget to ask for action. This can mean asking for the business or an advance in

the sales cycle.

When I review a client’s past copy or listen in on sales calls, I see them move through the
sales cycle smoothly. They build a relationship…they uncover the prospect’s needs…they
position themselves as an ideal solution…they may even throw in a kick-butt offer.

All the while, the prospect’s engaged and nodding their head to everything the copy or
sales person’s saying.

Then the conversation ends. Everyone smiles at each other and the sales person walks
away empty handed.

What happened?

There’s no call to action.

A call to action can be: calling you, filling out an online form, sending in an attached
request form, or even ordering right there. It’s anything that advances the sale.

If you did a proper job selling on the front end, then the difference between getting the sale
and getting a goose egg can be that simple.

Oh boy, I can hear the excuses now:

“But I don’t want to be pushy…”

“They know I’m selling something, I don’t need to actually say it…”

“I think it’s embarrassing to ask…”

Ok, I understand the hesitation, but remember your prospect is a very busy person too.

They know they have a need. They understand you may be the ideal solution. But in the
back of their mind, they’re also thinking about the 200 emails piling up in their inbox.
They’re wondering why their employee didn’t show up. They’re wondering if they remembered
to feed the dog that morning…

Like most of us, they’re busy and easily distracted. They need a little nudge to cut through
all of the other demands in their day.

Your call to action focuses them to make a decision.

If you don’t ask for the sale, the person jumps back into their busy day where fires are
going off left and right.

Even if they’re really interested in your product or service, it’s easy for you to become less of

a priority and get pushed back further down the “to do” list. And you know where that ends

up…in the “never-did-but-meant-to-do-it” list.

So don’t let yourself get pushed down in your prospect’s busy day. Ask for action while you

have their attention.

And the next time you feel hesitant to ask for the business, think of the bravery of a 9-year old
boy who dared to ask.

Chances are, you’ll get what you ask for.


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