The Power of the ‘ASK’

the ask
© Thomas R. – Fotolia.coHow often do you speak for your clients before you actually give them the opportunity to respond? What I mean is do you make a decision on how they will react before you even ask them? Why, as business owners do we do that? It can’t be fear of rejection because we wouldn’t be entrepreneurs as rejection is part of our everyday life. And it can’t be that our egos are so big we feel we already know what they are going to say before they even open their mouths. So, what is it? In a way, I don’t care what the reason behind this phenomenon is. All I truly care about is that we stop it immediately because it’s disabling our businesses.

The power of the ASK is simple. Don’t try to read the crystal ball to determine what your client or prospect is going to say. Just ASK.

Small business entrepreneurs need to just ask when it comes to sales, marketing and customer experience
Remember: The worse thing that could happen is they say, “No”. No big deal, you were already there before the ASK. However, if you come from a place of transparency and care for the other person, no matter what the answer is, you’ve done your job in creating an open and honest dialogue. Once that’s established, being able to make the situation a win-win for both parties is where your success lies.

Read on about personal examples of how talking for the client before asking resulted in opportunities.

Marketing
A business associate of mine works with a particular industry to Power Partner for lead generation as they target the same market. She leverages the other parties’ already established trust with the client for the opportunity to sit face-to-face with the prospect to offer education and how she can help them achieve their goals. My associate had identified a few key Power Partners for this process and had shared it with her personal consultant who is also in the industry. When her consultant said, “Why haven’t you asked me to tap into my client source?”. She was taken aback and said, “I didn’t think you’d want to be a part of it.”. Not only did he want to be a part of it, he believed in the services she provided so much he’s having her partner with his entire team! She was lucky her consultant used the power of the ASK with her, otherwise she would have missed out on the power of reach he and his staff had with their clients.

Sales
Sometimes the power of the ASK is as simple as, “Are you happy with your current XYZ service?”. Assuming prospects are satisfied with their current providers is never good business. Again, you’ve just talked for them without allowing them to speak up. I have a friend who is amazing at this ASK. If she meets a business owner who fits her target market, she immediately finds a way to include within the conversation if they need her service. AND, she converts more than half into new clients!

Customer Service
When a client is dissatisfied with your product, you can go one of two ways. Offer up the world or ASK them what would make them happy with the situation. Often times small businesses are so concerned about making and keeping the client satisfied that they over, over deliver beyond what the client is even wanting. If a client is unhappy with your service, simply ASK what you can do that would make the situation better. Nine times out of ten, they will request for far less then you were willing to give. If you still want to go over and above to show your appreciation for their business then, do so, but at least you have a base line of what would have been a pleasant experience within their expectations.

We all fall into the habit of talking for our clients or centers of influence. However, if you can be cognisant of the habit to stop and remind yourself, then you’ve made progress and will become even more open to ideas and opportunities within your business.

We want to hear your stories! Share with us your experiences of either the lesson learned of not ASKing or how the Power of the ASK increased your profits.

1 COMMENT

  1. Excellent post, Vicki. I had a boss who used to say, “Jo Lynn, they can’t hurt you,” whenever I showed hesitation about making an ask. The scenarios you share are actually descriptions of healthy business relationships build of trust and concern for each other. That is key to making the ask easier. Thanks for sharing!