We're all seeking positive influence with others and we all seek to persuade others to our way of thinking. Think about it, even if you're at the airport trying to get the gate agent to change your seat, you're selling the idea of changing your seat
As Summer vacation season draws to close here in North America, with Labor Day Weekend just around the corner, it's time for many of us to get back to business. But are we ready?
As C.S. Lewis, the author the Chronicles of Narnia - The Lion, The Which and Wardrobe, put it " People need to be reminded more about things that they already know than to be instructed in things that they don't". So as we get ready for the final quarter of the year let me remind you of this: Sometimes you just have to ask.
Let me make the point with a story shared with me this morning by my friend Dennis Spenst from the Full Gospel Businessman's Association:
Years ago, the hamburger specialists, McDonald's trained their staff to ask one more question when someone ordered a hamburger and a drink. The question was: "Would you like fries with that order?" Apparently a lot of people said, "Sure, why not?"
Now we've all heard that question, many sitcoms and even many of us have made jokes about it: "Hey, do you want fries with that?" BUT that simple question has added hundreds of millions of dollars to their bottom line over the years!
According to all the research I've done, studies I've read and anecdotal evidence I've experienced, 62% of the time even trained professionals fail to ask for what ever committment they went into a business meeting seeking. Amazing. If you don't ask, you don't get. Well if that's true, and we're being reminded of the basics, let's remember to ask some simple questions based on our call objectives.
If the goal of the meeting was learn enough to generate a proposal you could ask: "If I can put together a proposal in the next few days, can you think of any reason we shouldn't get together next week to review it?"
If the goal of the meeting was to close a deal based on a proposal that has proven valid you could ask: "so if we can set up this program for you, can you think of any reason we souldn't go ahead and set it up?"
So if a simple question could add hundreds of millions to the bottom line of McDonalds, what could the right question at the right time do for you?
Now, just a word of caution here. I'm not suggesting you start with the close, I've seen way too many training programs that promote the idea of always be closing. That philosophy makes me sick. I truly beleive that Trust and Relevance come first: You Cannot Close Before You Open, but the fact of the matter is too many people are walking away from business that they rightfully earned and should have been theirs simply because they didn't ask one final question!
Wishing good luck and the best of success as you prepare for the final quarter!
Howard Olsen is President of High Output Training Systems, a Toronto Corporate Sales Training Seminar and Workshop Events organization. As a professional sales trainer, keynote speaker and sales coach & mentor his powerful sales process and positive profit producing messages help thousands of sales people and business professionals look through the eyes of their customers to close more sales without pressure or friction every year. Follow Howard on Twitter @howardolsen or just give him a call at (604) 731-0901 to see if he can help you and your team.