Top 10 Ways to Ask for the Business & Close the Sale


Forget spiders, snakes, and being naked in public--the scariest thing for most of the small business owners I know is asking prospects for the sale! If popping the sales question is one of your greatest fears, take heart: You're about to learn my personal top 10 easy ways to ask for the sale (and yes, it includes actual words to use!).

Although intellectually most of us understand that asking for business (“closing the sale”) does not make us beggars, nor does it make us pushy salespeople, the very idea of asking often makes us quake with fear.

To dispel that fear, I have developed a two-part solution model that works like this:

First, conduct a needs-assessment conversation to find out if there is a good fit with your prospect's problems and the solution that you offer.

During this conversation, imagine that there is no question of money. Imagine that the only question that needs answering is: Do you have a way to help this person solve his or her problem?

If the answer is no, say so, and if you can, refer the prospect to someone who might be able to meet this person's problem or situation.

If the answer is yes, you do have an appropriate solution, then ask the prospect if he or she agrees that you have a good solution, and then ask when you should start.

It's that simple: Problem Defined + Solution Found = Potential Sale.

But even when you know the potential for the sale is there, asking can be scary, unless you already know how to ask in a way that feels natural to you.

One of the key skills we develop in my popular Super Sales Skills Training is asking for the sale. Now you're probably thinking, oh please Ronnie, I can ask for what I want and I do every day, but guess what? Chances are you don't. 

You may think you're asking when you state a preference or a desire: I would love a glass of water, for example. But you're not asking. And unless someone who is paid to be responsive to your desires (like a waitperson) is listening for your request, you may not get it what you think you're asking for. 

Merely implying what you want, forcing the other person to infer what you want, is a weak way of communicating. If you lack the courage or self-esteem to ask for the sale, you are communicating your own lack of faith—whether you mean to or not--in your ability to deliver and/or in the quality of your product or service.

What to do? Learn how to ask!

Below are some phrases that might help you ask for the business comfortably. Bear in mind that you can (and should) use the words and phrases that are most appropriate to your business, your style, and your situation--as long as they are phrased as an invitation (a question).

Exercise: Review these questions, looking for the one that closest to how you would like to invite prospects to work with you. Then edit, revise, and polish the question until it feels natural.

1. Now that you know what's possible for you, shall we get started?

2. It looks like we're a good match on this project, and I think it would be fun to work together. Shall we go ahead and get the paperwork started?

3. You mentioned that you needed this immediately; does that mean you like us to begin today?

4. I'm glad you think the XYZ package is the one that will work best for you, because it's the one I would recommend. Shall we work out the details now?

5. Yes, the ABC program begins next week. Would you like to take care of your enrollment right now so you be sure to get a place?

6. If you have no more questions, there's just one left for me to ask: When do we start?

7. Now that we've tweaked this proposal to your specifications, do we have a deal?

8. I'd really like to work with you on this project. What will it take to get started?

9. It looks like we've created the right solution for you, and we'll come in just under budget. Are you ready to move forward now?

10. Earlier you mentioned that you'd like to have this in place by the end of the month. Working backwards, that gives us two weeks to get all the elements in order, so I'd recommend starting on Tuesday. Does that work with your schedule, or would you rather begin on Monday?

Keep in mind that these phrases are simply suggestions. Use them to develop your own script for asking--but do make sure that you ASK!

Top 10 Ways to Ask for the Business & Close the Sale © 2003-16 Veronika Noize. All rights reserved.



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