"Ask For The Business"

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Ask For The Business
by Joe Bonura, CSP



We are all born sales people. Somewhere between the time we are born and the time that we get our business cards printed, we forget how to ask for the business. Have you seen how babies get what they want? They only want two things: a bottle of milk or a diaper change. If they were not good sales people, they would die of starvation or diaper rash.


They know how to ask, and they will keep asking until they get it. Of course, they know only one way to ask, and that is to cry. Crying is a baby’s way of communicating what he wants. At Thanksgiving, I noticed my grandson Michael, born a few weeks ago, sell us on feeding him or changing him. It works.


Have you pushed a five-year-old through the checkout counter in the supermarket? Why do you think the candy display is in the front of the store by the register? Let’s listen in on the dialogue:

Five-Year-Old: "Daddy, I want some candy!"

Daddy: "No, you cannot have candy!"

Five-Year-Old: "Daddy, please can I have some candy?"

Daddy: "No, I said you cannot have candy." (Now this child has not been in any sales training program, and yet, listen to him.)

Five-Year -Old: "Daddy, how come I can’t have any candy?"

Daddy: "Because you will not eat your dinner." (Observe how he handles the objection)

Five-Year-Old: "Daddy, I promise I won’t eat the candy until after dinner."

Daddy: "I said no."

Five-Year-Old: "Please daddy, please ."

Daddy: "You heard me; I said no." (Never quit asking until you get the order)

Five-Year-Old: "I promise I will not eat it until after dinner."

Daddy: "OK, OK, here, take the candy."

Now, I would wager that the five-year-old will eat the candy on the way home after going through the same questioning process as earlier.


So what happens to us that we no longer ask for the business? We have been told so many times that it is impolite to ask, but the truth is, that if you believe in your product and it is the right thing for the customer, then it is impolite to NOT ask for the business.


Asking for the business should be a natural part of the selling process, and yet, in over 60% of the cases, most sales people never ask for the business. They are waiting for the prospect to jump up and say, “I’ll take it, I’ll take it!”


Asking for the business on every sales call is called closing the sale. I like to call it opening a relationship. You might close (open) on the intention of the call. If the intention of the call is to gather information in order for you to make a full presentation, you would close by asking, “Based on what you have shared with me today, I would like to gather some information and return to demonstrate how we can help your business. How does next Friday at 2:00 PM look on your calendar?”


If you are ready to walk out with a contract, and you have demonstrated how your product will help grow their business, simply say, “What would need to exist for us to move forward today?” What is the worst thing that can happen? They can say no. If you do not ask, the answer remains no. At least by asking, you have a better chance of changing the outcome and securing the business.


I do not believe in trick closes. You know: The puppy dog close, the either-or close, the Ben Franklin close, the right upper-cut close. I have only one close, and it is easy to remember: it is the same close that the baby or the Five-Year-Old uses every day, and it works – Just Ask!

© 2009 Joe Bonura & Associates, Inc.

To see Joe and hear one of his favorite selling tips, follow this link to a video he created to share with folks who are interested in making more sales, or finding a job:



Joe Bonura would be pleased for you to reprint the article text free of charge (non-exclusively), but asks that you include his name and contact information:

Joe Bonura
Joe Bonura & Associates, Inc.
Website: www.bonura.com
407 Landis Lakes Court
Louisville, KY  40245

(502) 553-1746 phone

E-mail: joe@bonura.com

About Joe Bonura

His background is unique. Joe owned and operated a highly successful advertising agency for 18 years. During that time, he found his advertising campaigns were more effective when he educated his clients in the areas of sales and service. He conducted training seminars for his clients as added value. Word spread that Joe was a quality speaker and more and more people asked him to speak. The demand became so high that he sold the agency to three of his associates to start his own speaking and consulting company, Joe Bonura & Associates, Inc.

Joe is past President of the Kentucky Speakers Association and a Certified Speaking Professional (CSP), a prestigious designation earned by only 8% of the 3,600 member National Speakers Association. Joe presently serves on the board of directors of NSA.

He is author of the audio learning systems "Three-Dimensional Selling®" and "Turning Customer Satisfaction Into Customer Excitement®." He is author of the book Throw the Rabbit—The Ultimate Approach to Three-Dimensional Selling.




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