How to ask for the Sale (and what NOT to do)

Sales… yuck! I hear you. I’ve always been a natural born networker, but add sales to the process and I would get the heebie-jeebies. I seriously despised sales. My last J-O-B (prior to starting my own business) involved sales and it felt like a living nightmare! I often felt, if they want what I have to sell, they’ll just ask for it!

… nothing could of been further from the truth.

Having your own business really gets you present to the importance (and necessity) of sales. You don’t sell, you have NO business … simple as that.

But I couldn’t shake the icky feeling I got when I was put in a position where I was “forced” to ask the sale – as if someone was putting a gun to my head. 😉 I had to think long and hard on what were my beliefs about sales. Why was I so put off by the process? I knew if I didn’t get my shit together and figure this out, might as well kiss my business goodbye.

sleazy-salesmanGrowing up, when I thought of sales people, I thought of greasy-haired, yellow-teethed car salesmen (no offensive if you are reading this and happen to be greasy-haired, yellow-toothed, car salesmen).  But seriously, it was not my fault. These where the images I was presented with growing up – TV, movies, commercial ads. It’s no wonder I was pre-programmed to get the ickies when I thought of sales.

… thankfully I’ve grown up a bit since then.

Bottom line – after much reflection and changing my perspective on what sales really is, I realized that sales is not something you do TO someone, but rather FOR someone. Hmm…

According to to sell means:

To agree to transfer goods or provide services in exchange for money.

… a simple definition for a simple process.

The Wikipedia definition doesn’t mention sleazeball tactics; it doesn’t mention “forcing” someone to buy something they don’t really want or need. It’s just simply an exchange of services or goods for money. You have something to offer and the recipient either wants to buy it or not.

So now that we got that out of the way and we’ve concluded that sales it actually a rather simple process at a fundamental level, how then can we ask for the sale?

How to ask for the Sale

I’m going to assume you already have a process that leads your prospective client to the sales talk. If you don’t and want to work on that, sign up for a Laser-focused Strategy Session and I’ll work on it with you. Here’s all you need to do. Ready for it?

Just ask a simple question such as:

Are you ready to get started?

Would you like to sign up now?

Which program/package would you be interested in signing up for?

When are you free next so we can discuss which program will work best for you?

You get the idea.

(and what NOT to do)

Here is the key. Once you ask the leading question, zip it! Yes, don’t say anything. Nada. Zilch. Wait for their response. Often times people get so nervous about the process (been there) and in anticipating the response that they begin to ramble on (done that)- or worse, begin to justify their programs and costs! If you’ve done your work and communicated the value of your services, than all is needed is asking for the sale.

“But Michele, what if they have an objection?” Got it.

Here’s how you deal with objections. Prepare for them! Yup. Create a list of possible rejections before you jump on sales calls. Practice responding to these objections. Preparation is one of the key factors in the sales process. If you are not prepared, chances are you’re going to be caught off guard.

Here are some common sales objections:

  • I don’t have the money
  • I don’t have the time
  • I can’t leave my family
  • I’m working with someone else already
  • I need to talk to my spouse (shh… I’ve done this one)
  • Let me think about it and get back to you

Personally I have a checklist with the most common objections and how I intend to answer those objections. I highly recommend you create one yourself. It doesn’t have to be that complicated. For example, when someone tells me “I don’t have the time,” my automatic response is “If you don’t have the time now, then when would it be a good time for you?” Of course I say this in a very loving and supportive way. My goal if for them to make the best decision for themselves – whether it’s a yes or no.

Here’s another key mindset tip: don’t be attached to the outcome of the sales conversation. Let them know you are OK whether or not they are a yes or a no. Your job is to communicate how you can be the solution to their problem and make the offer; you are there to be of service – not to ‘push’ products and programs on other people. You are just committed that they make a powerful decision that is right for THEM.

How are you currently asking for the sale? Please share your tips and experiences below!


  1. Great perspective on what sales really is… helping someone buy what they need. In the best sense of the word, anyway. That’s certainly what the best sales people do.

    I especially like the mindsets you presented at the end: the goal is to help the prospect make the best decision for themselves, yes or no; and don’t be attached to the outcome of the sales process.

    I wish I had read your article many years ago when I first started in sales!

    1. I’m with you Jim, LOL. It was definitely something I didn’t “get” in the beginning either. The sales process becomes a very different experience when you switch from of making it ‘about you’ to making it ‘about them.’ 😉

      Thanks for stopping in!

      1. Very interesting. Everyone wants to buy something, but to make an informed decision they need the assistance of the sales person. As a sales person I must get the job satisfaction from the fact that I have helped someone make an informed decision no matter the outcome. Eventually I will develop the requisite skills to identify the customers that need to be informed on buying what I am offering right?

        1. Hi Stowell,

          Not completely clear on your question, but I’m going to give it a shot anyway. 😉

          I think what you’re asking is, as you develop your skills in sales, would you be able to direct them to your service or products as the solution to their problem (needs)? I say absolutely. Assuming of course you are the right fit for them and their problem. Sometimes after having a conversation with someone you realize that you are the right solution for them.

          But it takes practice and really tapping into what are their needs and not what you think they need.

          Best of luck!

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