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Ask for the business

When the sales call is just about over and you think the prospect wants to do the deal but hasn't come out and said so what is the best way to ask for the business? - by realtor
Your prospect is not going to tell you, that is your job and you must ask.

Here are some questions to assist,

If the information reflects our discussion when would you like to begin?
Is there anything detaining us from beginning the work?
How quickly are you ready to commence with the service?
Can we proceed now?

These are the questions that are vital to gaining commitment.

Good Selling.

Drew - by Drew Stevens
The only way you would think that the prospect is ready to buy is if you fully executed your plan going in, have confirmed that the prospect is moving in the same direction at the same pace as you. If that is the case, then the best way is summarize, and state the obvious conclusion, "we should move forward on the basis of what we have discussed and agreed on" and then be prepared for their response.

Tibor Shanto - by Tibor Shanto
If you have accurately assessed your prospect's situation and needs and presented the right solution, then you have earned the right to ask for the sale. Here are few non-threatening ways to ask:

Are you ready to move forward with this decision?
Can I get started on the paperwork?
Can I write this up?
When do you want to take care of the paperwork?
Are you ready to do business?
When do you want to start?

As Drew mentioned, it is your responsibility to ask for the sale.

Kelley - by Kelley Robertson
Soft - say, "What would you like me to do next?"
Soft - ask about an after sale detail like delivery, training, or support. In old parlance this is the 'assumptive close'.
From the heart, "you seem about ready to decide, shall we go ahead with the paper work?"
Harder - "How would you like to proceed?"
Harder - "let's not delay getting the results you want"

Which to use? That's a judgment call. It depends, and only the sales person there in the moment can make it.

Clive - by Clive Miller
If the Prospect hasn't indicated they are ready to place the Order then you run the risk of adding Pressure to the process by asking a "Closing Question" . Instead, try using a "Trial Close" which only asks for their Opinion rather than a Decision. Examples:
"How does everything sound so far?"
"Does this feel like it will fill your needs?"
"Is this looking like it what you were hoping for?"

If they respond less than positive with; "I'm still not sure", then you will realize they weren't ready to be Sold and you need to go back to covering Benefits and handling any Questions and/or Concerns before earning the right to try and Close the Sale.

If they respond very positive with; "It sure does", then you've just made your Sale and you can wrap things up with; "Great and here's what we need to do next."

Have a "FANTA$TIC" Future!
Stan Billue, CSP - by Stan Billue
Thank you to the experts. :thu

I am very glad I asked this question because I wasn't confident that what I was doing was right but I am doing what has been suggested. Now I can stop rehashing it over and over again in my mind. Thank you! thmbp2; - by realtor
Good comments from everyone. I agree with Stan about the power of a trial close.

Here are commonly used closing actions:

Direct Question: "Should we go ahead and prepare an offer?" or "Do you want to buy it?"

Alternative Choice Close: "Do you want to make an offer right at the listing price, or do you want to beef up your offer to increase your likelihood of getting the home?"

Assumptive Close: [maybe after a trial close]. "So the next step is to write up an offer, so let's go back to my office."

The use of these various closes, and others, depends upon the particular situation, of course.

The best to you,

Skip - by Skip Anderson
When the sales call is just about over and you think the prospect wants to do the deal but hasn't come out and said so what is the best way to ask for the business?
The best procedure is as follows:

1. Summarize what has been discussed and achieved during the call.

2. Ask for action on the part of the prospect. The action may be to ask for an order or, something that moves you towards the order.

I can email a video of an historic classic example if you wish.
- by TonyB
When the sales call is just about over and you think the prospect wants to do the deal but hasn't come out and said so what is the best way to ask for the business?
Great answers in abundance here! I have one more thing I can add if it helps.

I've found that just being PREPARED in my own mind to ask in SOME way. And for me, I find sometimes a little humorous spin works. For example, Skip mentions the alternative close. If I'm working with a corporate prospect for a day of training, I might say, "Do you want to start during the beautiful spring months? Or would you rather I be your sunshine during the winter?" Find something appropos that would work for you to make it a FUN decision for the prospect.

Our role in selling IS to ask for the decision! - by patweber
It’s important to begin your closing process much before it is time to ask for the business.

The ways to do this are:

1) Before each call set a clear measurable objective — (action step and time frame).
2) Each time you present a significant feature and benefit (tailored to customer needs), ask a checking question to get customer feedback. For example, “How does that sound?” “How does that meet your need to … (whatever need you uncovered)?”

The reason to get customer feedback throughout the call is not only to let you know when it is time to close but to increase your chances of getting a yes. The feedback you get allows you to gauge how the customer is responding. Using that information you can adjust what you are positioning or build the confidence to ask for the business (you can reasonably predict how the customer will respond) or ask for the next step. This also helps keep the call interactive which maintains customer interest and focus.

The point is you need data so you know when and how to close. Once you’ve identified needs and positioned your solution and resolved objections/questions the customer has raised, based on the feedback you have gotten CLOSE.
§ Ask a final checking question such as, “Based on our discussion how do you feel our … (your offering) meets your objectives to … (customer objectives)?
§ Summarize to show your solution meets the customer’s needs. Keep it short.
§ Ask for the business or next step to maintain momentum.
§ If the customer declines — acknowledge and probe and based on what you learn, give a second effort.

How a customer responds to your close should not be a big surprise. Tailor your solution to needs. Set a measurable call objective. Ask for feedback throughout the call. Ask for the business. And you will know when to close and increase your close ratio. - by Linda Richardson
Too soon and too often.

The above is the best short quote in advice given to those who say "How do I know when to close?" Expanding upon that short memory jogger type quote is the explanation that a professional sales trainer provides to explain why you must ask for the business.

Trail close is really just a way of saying "I did not know what to do so I tried to close". It is only a "trial" if the prospect does not buy on that attempt. It does not mean that the same is up, it means that if there is a reason for not going forward the buyer will tell you what it is or at least indicate they are not ready, which you cannot tell in all cases, especially with someone who is taciturn (talks very little - is not out going). Once you know they are not ready, if the buyer did not tell you why, you get to ask them " ... why not?"

The why not question with skill and practice is delivered in a way that disarms anyone who might have felt a little tension in that moment. And it is important to note that those who advice highly skilled advanced wording for a close or trail close if you like, forget sometimes that it takes the same amount of practice to learn that as it does how to be disarming.

What came first; the chicken or the egg?

You can't learn mastery of closing from a book, tape or CD, you learn in through experience, through practice.

I cringe as I read advice from sales professionals who also teach that suggest the use of advanced skill prior to the level of experience required to have the confidence to use it or even the profound knowledge to understand why they should.

This is a great thread with a lot of smart people contributing a good deal of wise comments, no doubt. I am impressed. But experience has taught me the there is no replacing experience, it is like the billiards teacher trying to show a novice how to Masse (swerve) or Jump (jump shot) a Cue Ball or how to make a hit off 5 rails when they are hooked, it is not going to work unless the student has tried it a hundred to a thousand times already.

What a great profession we are in! We are either the greatest communicators in the world or becoming such, that is amazing. But do not forget simplicity, please. And one fact of selling life is unless you ask you cannot get the order, even if by so doing you may add a slight bit of tension to the situation, it can't be helped. And wording does not eliminate the prospect's knowledge of you trying to confirm the fact that they want to buy.

If you are trying hard enough to master this art of communication thing we call professional salesmanship, you will occasionally cause a prospect to have feelings that are not as you would desire (or they would, naturally). This cannot be helped, not by any human being I have ever met.

Better we should do out utmost to try and help those that we can to buy what they need than not to ask for fear of the very few occasions when we do upset someone's apple cart as it were.

Happy hunting ... - by Gold Calling
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