First Rule of Sales: Always Ask for the Order

Last week, FEI sales leader Zoot educated a young salesperson on how voice-mail messages can lead to sales opportunities. This week, Zoot gives Ganymede a valuable lesson on the best phrase he knows for closing a sale. Remember, fire = print.

Zoot walked into Ganymede’s office to find him slumped in his chair. “What’s wrong?” Zoot asked.

“Another meeting with Hercules of Hercules Chariots, and still no close,” Ganymede groaned. “I don’t get it. He knows our price and knows we’re a great solution for what he needs. But I just can’t get him to sign on the dotted line.”

Zoot rubbed his chin thoughtfully. “Have you tried asking for the order?”

Ganymede sat up. “Well, no. That would be…impolite. Wouldn’t it?”

“If you think FEI’s solutions are the best for Hercules, it’s impolite not to ask for the order,” Zoot said. “No matter how good a listener you are, no matter how well you ask questions and how persistently you pursue the sale, if you don’t ask for the order, you probably won’t get it.”

“I make a lot of appointments and a lot of presentations, but my closing ratio just isn’t good,” Ganymede remarked. “Could it be because I don’t ask for the order?”

“It’s very likely,” Zoot said. “Great conversations don’t sell anything by themselves. If prospects have even the slightest reservation about trying out FEI, they won’t volunteer business, no matter how strong the personal chemistry is between them and you.”

Ganymede tugged at his toga nervously. “I hear what you’re saying, but sometimes I’m unsure in my ability to ask for the order.”

“Ask Athena or another salesperson to accompany you on a sales call,” Zoot suggested. “Ask them to critique your selling skills, specifically your ability to ask for the order. Sometimes a third-party can be invaluable in helping you improve your sales skills. Or, I can ride along with you for a day.”

T.J. is team leader of Grow Sales, Inc., a marketing and social media services company operating at the intersection of compelling content, clear vision and quality communication practices. In this blog, fire is a metaphor for print. Hang on, this ride will be weird...Prometheus crept into Mt. Olympus, stole fire, returned to the lowlands, ran from house to house distributing it, got caught, was chained to a rock, lost his liver to a huge ugly bird and was rescued by Hercules. Leveraging his fame, Prometheus started Fire Enterprises Inc.  (FEI). Since fire was the hottest technology of the time, company success came fast and furious. Two generations later, fire isn't such an easy sale. Now led by Prometheus' grandson Org, FEI's growth is non-existent, competitors are pounding and prices are in the toilet.
Related Content
  • Bill

    I remember many years ago when I was a kid working at a gas station part time selling tires and was trained by a major tire company to always close the sales pitch by asking "Can we put a set on your car today?". It worked probably at least 90 percent of the time.