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If you want more business…

    Words Have Power

    Ask for it!

    There’s no magic in what I do. I call people, and I ask them for their business; the ones that need what I have to sell, buy. Sales are different in the 21st century, consumers are savvy, they are price aware, and they can fact-check us on the Internet. Instead of trying to sell them your products and services, how about you let them sell themselves? No magic needed.

    It’s easier than you may think, too.

    During your prospecting calls, ask questions instead of talking. Have the questions ready before you pick up the phone. Have at least three prepared. Tell them you just want to ask them a few questions, get their buy in, or schedule a time to call back.

    Every time someone answers the phone, I ask, “Am I disturbing you?”

    Every time.

    If I am disturbing them, they tell me, and the next thing I ask is, “When would be a good time to call back?” Most tell me immediately.

    My point, always ask, always respect the answer.

    Depending on who you are calling, some broad sample questions may be:

    1. What would it take to earn your business?
    2. What are you looking for in an architect/designer/insert your trade?
    3. What can I do to make your job easier? (When you get an answer to this one, you have the makings for a long term relationship, listen to the answer!)

    A max of five simple questions, stop at two or three if necessary, pay attention to the tone of their answers and let it guide you. You can tell when you have a willing listener on the other end and when you don’t. If they are willing, ask the questions. If they are not, schedule a time to call back and move on to the next call.

    If you are calling prospects who have already said they want to work with you, but they haven’t yet signed a contract, questions like these will work:

    1. I am ready to partner with you, is there anything in the way of you signing the contract today?
    2. I’d like to move forward with you, what do you see as the next step?
    3. If not now, when? I’m happy to follow up with you and do what it takes to earn this job.

    Be direct, ask exactly what you want to know, no sugar coating, no sales pitch. Ask the questions one at a time and listen to the answers. They will tell you what they want and when they want to buy it.

    There is no magic. If you want more business, ask for it.

    If you have your questions ready and ask them in a straightforward manner, you will get the answers. If you indeed have the value they want to buy, they will sell themselves!

    Suggested Reading

    The Answer, Grow Any Business
    John Assaraf and Murray Smith
    An extraordinarily easy step-by-step process for discovering the demographic breakdown of what an Ideal Client is for your company and how to attract them.

    Execution, The Discipline of Getting Things Done
    Ram Charan and Larry Bossidy
    This book explains the process and value of continually asking: What Works and What Doesn’t Work inside of a company. The single most tangibly impacting business books of my career!

    AdaptAbility, How To Survive Change You Didn’t Ask For
    MJ Ryan
    Written by my business coach, this book is a powerful inspiration for more than just adapting to a challenging market; it is motivation for reaping success from your newly planted seeds!