I’m excited that you’re continuing with this lesson series on how to master the different areas of your business. It’s going to be tremendously rewarding in the long run. Our next topic is on winning new clients. Once you generate qualified leads, how do you convert them?
I remember when I first graduated from college, I went to a job interview at the national headquarters of a big company, and I was interviewing for a sales position. I ended up choosing not to go in that direction, but during the interview, I met with the vice president of the company and asked him a very simple question: “Of all the advice you’ve given people on how to be successful in terms of closing sales and winning new clients, what is the one suggestion you have for me?” What he told me is going to shock you, because it seems like the most basic thing you’ve ever heard. Yet statistically speaking, very few small business owners or even trained salespeople do this one thing.
There is definitely a large group of people with a fear of sales who never do this, but I could not believe the advice this VP gave me, a young 22-year-old in the beginning of my career at the time. He said, and I’m paraphrasing here, “Take a person who puts together a mediocre presentation, and suppose that he goes through it and doesn’t even do a great job of presenting his services or products. However, when he gets to the end, he directly asks for the business.”
That’s right, they just ask for the business. It seems rather simple, but that is the number one thing people don’t do! Let’s say that a competitor creates a great, inspiring presentation with all the bells and whistles, but when they get to the end, there’s no follow-up to ask for the business. Well, the person with the mediocre presentation will get the business every time, simply because he asked for it.
I know you’re thinking, “Oh, my business is so much more complicated than that.” But I’m going to challenge you to ask for business more often. Maybe not on the first sales presentation, sure, but if you sooner or later ask every single qualified lead that you go after for the business, I guarantee it’s going to increase your sales.
For those of you that are afraid to do this, again, I work with a lot of people on overcoming fear. I love working with business owners on sales, but we can’t get into that here. However, I’m telling you, when in doubt, ask for the business. And that’ll help you win new clients.