The last two weeks I’ve discussed asking great questions – two weeks ago,examples of great questions and then last week, a case history showing great questions in action. This week, I’ll combine great questions with another frequent topic, compelling reasons and discuss how to use your questioning ability and compelling reasons to get what you want.

Asking for what you want is the third important ingredient. Believe it or not, most salespeople either don’t ask, don’t ask effectively or simply assume they’ll get what they want. Some ask too soon while some ask too late.

Let’s assume that you’ve decided to ask and ask at the right time. When is the right time? It’s when you’ve touched all the bases – you’ve reached 1st, 2nd, 3rd and you’re sliding into home plate. You haven’t taken any short cuts. So what exactly are you asking? You’re asking if they want your help. You may have to customize that a little, like, “would you like my help closing more sales?” This question is the third question in the Inoffensive Close, the close anyone can execute. But you still have to ask!

Why doesn’t every salesperson ask?  I can provide four reasons:

1) They aren’t comfortable because of their Need for Approval;
2) They aren’t comfortable because of their Non-Supportive Buy Cycle;
3) They fear rejection and have difficulty recovering from it;
4) They don’t know what to ask or when to ask it.

If you aren’t familiar with all of these terms, you can refer to your copy of Baseline Selling or, get a copy of Mindless Selling. Both books can help you overcome all four of those potential obstacles.

What’s the worst that can happen? They don’t buy from you. Wouldn’t you rather know now than in two months?  Wouldn’t you rather not have to wonder what will happen? Wouldn’t you rather work on a new opportunity than think about what this prospect will do?

Ultimately, if you want to be a great salesperson, the thing you must do better than anything else is get people to make decisions, even if the decision isn’t the one you want to hear. Why? It forces you to address the things you do earlier in the selling process that cause the decision. Suppose that while encouraging your prospects to make decisions they all say no. The no’s aren’t because you asked, the no’s are what you would have heard a month later when you followed up. They force you to honestly address what you did that lead to the no.

Cause and Effect. Trace your outcomes back and you’ll have the answers to your problems.