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How to Get Better At Asking

Selling well requires that you ask for–and gain–commitments. We move from one commitment to the next commitment, from target to close. If you’re going to gain those commitments, you’re going to have to ask for them. Here’s how to get better at asking.

Tie Your Ask to Future Value Creation

One way to improve your ability to gain a commitment is to focus on the future value you’re going to create. What will the client get out of allowing you to have the commitment you ask for? If you ask for access to their decision influencers, how will that benefit them? If you ask for access information, how will giving you that information help them?

By justifying your ask, you make it easier for your dream client to give you the commitment you need.

As a side note, if it’s early in the sales process the best way to create value is to give them information and ideas they can use whether they choose you or one of your competitors. This makes it easy to say yes. If it’s late in the sales process you show how only you can create the kind of value that you’re describing, differentiating yourself from your competitors in a way that’s compelling to your prospective client.

Earn the Commitment Before You Ask

The more value you create during each sales interaction, the more you earn the right to ask for the commitment you need. If it’s early in the sales process and you help your dream client with ideas that benefit them, you make it easier to gain a commitment to move forward.

But the opposite of this is also true. The less valuable you are during each sales interaction, the more difficult it is for you to ask for again the commitments that you need. You haven’t earned them.

It’s easy to ask for and obtain the commitments that you have earned. It’s much more difficult when you haven’t earned the right to ask. Do the work to deserve the commitment you’re asking for.

Practice Asking

You get a lot better asking if you practice. The more you practice asking, the more comfortable you are with the words coming out your mouth, the easier it is for you to ask. Most salespeople won’t do this. They’re too shy. They’re too embarrassed. They don’t think they need to practice. But the rewards are high for those brave souls who will rehearse the words and practice the language.

You might practice with a group of your peers. If you’ve got a really “game” group, you’ll be brave enough to critique each other and offer suggestions. You also get the opportunity to listen to the language that other salespeople use, and you can steal some of it to use in your own sales interactions.

If you want to get better at anything faster, practice. If you don’t have enough opportunities to practice in real sales interactions, rehearsing with your peers is a great substitute.

Remember, You’re In Sales

Don’t worry about being salesy. Guess what? You’re in sales. Your dream client already knows you’re a salesperson. They knew that when you called and asked for the appointment.

Instead of worrying about being “salesy,” worry instead about the points above. If you tie your ask to future value creation, if you create value during every sales interaction, and if you’re well rehearsed and comfortable with the language, you can ask directly very comfortably with no problem.

You’re in sales. And selling is a game of commitment gaining. Get comfortable asking for the commitments you need.

Questions

Have you earned the commitments that you ask for?

How do you create value during every sales interaction?

Do you have good language choices that allow you to tie the value that you create on one sales interaction to the value you create by being allowed to have the commitment that you need?

Do you rehearse your language choices? What would it sound like if you did?


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