Are you asking your customers to buy? This is one of those “duh” things that many of us miss. It’s so simple we often overlook it. And sales will suffer as a result.
The fact is that in order to make a sale, you’ve got to ask someone to buy. It’s not being pushy, it’s just asking.
A while back, I attended a class where I knew going in that the instructor had some optional materials to sell. I had my cash in hand when I walked in, ready to buy, but he never mentioned what was available. I saw the books sitting there and took a look during the break. But even with several of us looking them over, he never asked for the sale. Finally, at the end of the class, when many students had already left, he said something like, “Oh yeah, we’ve got these here if you want one. They’re $15.”
Well, by that time, I’d talked myself out of buying. If he had asked up front, or better yet right before the break, I would have bought one. And many other people would have, too. As it was, he sold a few.
Failing to ask probably cost him a few hundred dollars that night. Look at what he had going for him: All of us knew coming in that something would be available to buy. He did a very good job teaching the class, and showed he knows his stuff. He created the demand, but didn’t show how he would fill it.
He gave out several resources in the class (such as web site addresses) that are listed in the book, and he missed opportunities to say, “These are all in the book I have available, if you don’t want to write all of this down.” That would point out one of the benefits of buying his printed materials.
Most importantly, he failed to show his product respect. If it is really good, he should want us to have it, and encourage us to buy it—not simply mention it as an afterthought.
How can you avoid this trap?
When you do a presentation, ask for the sale. No, you won’t say, “So, do you wanna buy this, or what?” But you can ask, “Would you like to put this on your credit card?,” or “Would you like to take this with you today?,” the ever-popular, “Would you like this one or that one?,” or even “How many would you like?”
Weave benefits into your presentation. Whether you are doing a sales presentation or a speech, talking to one person or thousands, use the opportunity to talk benefits—what your product does to help people.
Tell your audience what you have available for sale. Put the thought in their minds that they could buy and own the item.
Tell them how much it costs. People like to know what their commitment will be.
Encourage questions and objections. Don’t make people sell themselves. Encourage them to ask questions to get the answers they need. It gives you a way to demonstrate the benefits most important to them.
Make it easy for them to buy. Accept checks, credit cards, oh, and cash, too. Sell on account, if that’s appropriate. Some publishers will send a book out before receiving payment. They simply enclose an invoice. Those who have tried it say they get paid every time (although it may depend on your target market).
Respect your customer. They’re not stupid and they don’t want to be pressured. They are however, willing to learn. Teach them about your product, what it can do for them, and why they need it.
Respect your product. Handle it carefully. Have you ever looked at diamond necklaces at a jewelry store? They are displayed on velvet. The salesperson gently removes them from the display case, and hands them to you with care. The atmosphere promotes the idea that these products are valuable. Don’t your products deserve as much respect? (Although you might be able to forego the vault and the guys with guns!)