Now, there are those who will argue with me that there are no shortcuts to success. I disagree and I can prove that there are.I hate waiting in lines!
When I was traveling recently from Providence, RI to Atlanta, GA, I had a first class ticket. Usually that means there is an expedited security line for me to use, saving me time standing in line. This matters to me and is one of the reasons I fly first class. My time is valuable and the less of it I spend standing around, the more productive I can be either engaged in business calls, laptop work, or catching up on reading that keeps me learning and inspires me. (If you haven’t ever flown first, I encourage you to try it and see just how much more enjoyable and productive your travel time can be.)
I digress. Usually I also check in curbside, Delta in Providence didn’t have that option so I went inside and was the only person in the Skymiles Priority queue. The ticket agent was very pleasant and as I looked behind me at the 50 or so people crowded into roped lanes at security, I asked if there was a queue for first class. She said “no, we only offer that in the mornings for our business travelers.” Well I was a business traveler, I just happened to be flying at noon. I looked again, and said, “are you sure?” She confirmed there was no other line, but looked over at the crowd, then back at me, and said “wait a minute.”
Since there were no other travelers in the priority queue, she stepped from behind the desk and escorted me around everyone, straight to the TSA agent. She got his attention and he graciously closed his lane, in order to open my side, check my license and ticket and usher me through to bag and body scan. This saved me at least 30 minutes of standing around. And the cool part was, it all happened, because I asked. I didn’t pitch a fit, I was polite and she was available and willing to help.
This was a big reminder of how easy it can be to get what you want, when you will simply ask. In fact, here are 3 Simple Ways to Make More Sales (and get more of what you want in business AND life!):
#1 Ask for what you want.
Children are masters at this. If they ask their mom for something and don’t get the answer they want, they will often go to their dad and see if they can get it from him. They don’t stop at the first “no,” and neither should you. Often it isn’t what you are asking for that is the challenge, but how you are asking. Let’s look at the difference here at what happens when you get specific and clear.
Are you free Saturday night? (Yikes, free for what? I’m not sure, that is too open ended.)
Would you like to go to dinner and a movie at Cinebistro on Saturday night?
I’m looking for connections in the franchise industry . . . (vague)
I’d like to meet the VP of Marketing for Arby’s, Smoothie King, and YoForia. (specific)
I work with anyone who has teenagers (yikes, that is one huge population)
I work with and want to meet Moms with teenagers age 15 – 17, who struggle with self esteem and aren’t doing well in school.
#2 Ask to find out what your client wants.
Never assume, there is no reason to. Clients can be incredibly easy to work with when you listen well and determine clearly what they want. I was working with a client who initially sounded like his priority was getting his book out. During conversation it turned out that the burning issue was instead generating more monthly revenue in a passive manner. He had launched a membership association and we determined that it was better for him to focus exclusively on filling this to get the revenue flowing, and back burner the book. Ultimately the revenue from the association will pay for his book to be published. Dig deeper, listen more intently, find out the hidden agendas.
#3 Ask for the sale, the opportunity, the project.
Yes, this does sound basic, but I can’t tell you the number of times I’ve been in stores or in front of a sales person and I’m ready to buy and they are still pitching me. UGH! Look for and listen for buying signals. Close your client when they are ready, don’t oversell them, you will lose them.
Here are some simple phrases you can use.
“Can I wrap that up for you?”
“When would you like to get started with coaching|design|fitness (fill in the blank)?”
“Do you have a launch date in mind for your project?”
“What is your desired deadline for completion? We can start immediately.”
“Can I take your payment information and we’ll get scheduled.”
“Let me get your payment information and I’ll send you your business diagnostic results.”
The bottom line is that you must ASK FOR WHAT YOU WANT, whether that is information, a date, a new client, a sale, a booking, a trip, a house, an appointment, you get the idea. You get everything in life because somehow, someway you asked for it. If you aren’t getting what you want, then you aren’t asking for it. Get clear, be specific and watch as your goals come into to view, your dreams become reality. REALLY!
Now, I want to HEAR FROM YOU in COMMENTS. Tell me a story of something you asked for and got!