It is amazing how easy it is to ask and how often it is that people do not.
You can’t get what you want for your business until you learn to ask. Period. Waiting for the generosity of others puts your business at the mercy of others. If you know what you want, ask for it. If you don’t know what you want, ask questions to help you find out what you want.
Start with the easy stuff; How many would you like? When would you like it to arrive? When will you place the order?
Once you have trained yourself to ask the easy questions, graduate to the insightful stuff: How often do you buy these? What would your reorders look like? How can we help you sell the product? What can I do to make our relationship better?
Once you master those questions, start asking the graduate program questions: How big is the category for your stores? What products are you missing in this area? What would the price point be for that product?
No matter whether you are working with vendors, customers, staff, funding, whomever, everything is driven by what you ask. If you don’t ask, don’t be surprised when what you wanted does not come about. Business is not a restaurant with a menu of options.
Think of needing better payment terms; “where would our relationship need to be to get my business the very best terms/rates your company offers?”
With Retail Customers; “How well does this category do for your store now?” or “What type of sales volume per store in pieces do you see from this product per week?”
It’s not just in person. Think of your website. Are you politely and artfully asking people if they would like to buy, everywhere at your website? Or are you providing a virtual Wikipedia experience (which by the way is FREE) all about your product with no call to action. When you’re in a store, this is why the PRICE tag is on the products and why the checkstand is prominently visible from wherever you are in the store.
For your business to thrive, know what you want, know what you need to find out and then go out and ask all the questions you need to in order to make it happen.
The art of the ask is to always, always, always be aware of the motivation of the other party to provide on the ask. The more context awareness you have, the greater the likelihood the answer to your ask will be exactly what you want/need. Don’t fool yourself into believing that you already “know” the answer. You know how the existing relationships got to where they are? You know the relationships you are trying to break or at least modify! They asked for it.
The world revolves around what we ask for, not the offer…………..the ask. The business people with the most thoughtful approach to asking for what they want almost always succeed. Rule #1 for all sales people – ASK for the order. Rule #1 for all business people – ASK for what you want.