Steps to Management Success – Step 66: Be Direct about What You Really Want

Written By Rick Frishman Published April 1st, 2010


Be Direct about What You Really Want

Salespeople might recognize this as a corollary of the cardinal rule “Ask for the sale.”

The underlying principle is indeed quite similar. You can make a dazzling presentation—to a customer, your boss, your committee, whomever—but if you don’t include a clear and compelling call to action, you are omitting the most critical element.

WHAT IT MEANS: Most people have a certain resistance to making specific requests because it’s a bit risky. Maybe you’ll be rejected. Maybe you’re afraid to be perceived as too pushy. But this is one discomfort you will have to work to overcome. Look at it this way: if you don’t ask for what you want, who will? The good news is, if you are clear and at ease about asking for what you want, you may be pleasantly surprised at how often you get it. Successful salespeople know full well that the presentation is just a prelude to “the close,” and so should you.

ACTION PLAN: Be clear and articulate about what you want from your next meeting—and ask for it! Rehearse aloud, so you can neutralize the fear factor. Anticipate objections and develop good replies. Invite feedback from your personal support group. As with any presentation, preparation and practice are key. Also, take a more positive view of rejection. “No” might mean “not now.” No sales pros—even the superstars—get the order every time.

EVEN BETTER: Keep asking! If at first you don’t receive . . . ask and ask again! Situations change, and selling anything (including your ideas) is not so much an event as a process, so keep the process going—with follow-up calls, e-mails, et cetera. The more often you ask for what you want, the more likely you’ll get it.

(Excerpted from: 10 Clowns Don’t Make a Circus. . . and 249 Other Critical Management Success Strategies by Steven Schragis and Rick Frishman)

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