• Sumo

Talking about money is vulgar and not something one should do.  Sorry, did anyone mention Queen Victoria is no longer on the throne and we are not all upper-class toffs.

Business is about the exchange of money for goods. If you have the goods, you are going to have ask for the money…or it is just a hobby.

Do you suppose the head of the world’s largest soft drink company would be shy about asking for £1 for a can?  A sales assistant at Versace has no difficulty asking several thousand pounds for a dress.  Why? Confidence in the product.

This dilemma is about two things, both closing the deal and asking for money. The two things don’t always coincide, presenting two opportunities to hesitate.

Closing the deal:

Why don’t people ask for the order or close the deal? Typically because deep down no-one likes rejection.  As barristers say, you shouldn’t ask a question to which you don’t already know the answer.  Those less practised in sales may find it difficult to recognise the signs that say what the answer will be.

Rather than make a mistake, get a rejection and feel embarrassed, it may seem easier to wait until the prospect explicitly tells you they want the product.  But if this doesn’t happen, no sale, no revenue, no profit, no income.  Can YOU afford these consequences?  No?  So take a risk and ask.

How many times have you seen in romantic films or read in such novels, the couple who are obviously made for each other, yet half the plot happens while neither wishes to make their feelings known?  If you don’t make your feelings known the result may be missing the love of your life, missing out on years of happiness.  If a prospect says no, not quite such heart-rending results.

“I don’t like pressure selling.”  Fair enough, most of us don’t.  What makes you think that authentically asking for an opportunity to help a prospect, make their life better or in some way fulfill a need of theirs, is pressure.  How dare you fail them, if you have any heart at all…if your product or service will benefit them, it is only fair to them to ask.  (Well that is one way of looking at it.)

Asking for money:

Just yesterday I was talking to a lovely lady who is also a wonderful web-designer / builder.  She admitted that one of the weaknesses in her business was getting around to invoicing. “I never seem to have a collections problems once I invoice, but I keep putting it off to make sure the customer has a chance to tell me of any issues.”

Very thoughtful towards the customer, but…what could happen?  If she invoices before the customer is 100% happy, it will most likely illicit anything needed to complete the job, then payment will be forthcoming.  Alternatively, the customer could, I suppose, become disgruntled that the money issue was getting in the way.  Solution: invoice as soon as the site is handed over but put the payment date out 30 days to allow for testing and corrections.  It looks professional and the timing will appear logical.

But is asking for the money more about confidence in the value of the item? So many small business owners, and in particular those providing services, feel they have to discount.

If your service is not worth what you want to charge, don’t pretend it is.  Alter the cost or improve the service.  If it is worth the money, in your opinion, then you do have to find the confidence to ask the full amount.  Again, what can go wrong? The customer can negotiate or say no.  The way you ask will guide the response.

Final thought, practise.  The more you ask for the order, the more confidence you will build in your wording and the easier it will become.  If you don’t have enough prospects to practise on, ask a friend to listen to you.  Role play the closing of a deal.  Find the words that suit your style.

Do you “role play” your sales conversations? If not, perhaps you should join a group to give you that opportunity…Mastermind groups work on skills together.