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by John Ingrisano

“Will somebody please do something?”  I’ve heard that phrase now and then over the years from frustrated parents, unhappy customers, even business managers.

There’s only one problem with this complaint/demand:  It has no clarity, purpose or direction.  Do something?  Do what?  Please be a little more specific.  Seriously, I use the example in my seminars of being a customer who receives a lousy meal and rude service in a restaurant.  If the customer writes a letter of complaint that does nothing more than blow off steam and demand some vague form of  “satisfaction” or “compensation,” that person is very unlikely to get either.

Instead, imagine if the customer insists on (1) an apology, in person, from the rude waitress and (2) a $50 gift card in compensation.  Additionally, the customer insists on hearing from the company within ten days.  If so, there is at least a reasonable chance of getting what he/she wants.

It’s the same in business:  Be specific.  We must ask for what we want.   At the end of a one-on-one presentation, rather than asking,  “So, what do you think?” be specific:  “I think you will agree that this proposal will help you achieve your objectives.  If so, I recommend that we put it in place today.  Let’s complete the paperwork and submit it with a check for $XXX.”  Then go right into the application, starting with easy questions:  “Robert, what is your middle name?”

It is similar in retail sales.  If a customer is looking at two possible choices, suggest specifically which one you recommend, saying something like, “This blue item is one of our most popular blouses.  I can ring that up for you whenever you are ready.”

Ask for the order.  Request a specific commitment, not just agreement that the idea is a good one.  This simple idea can double your business.  That’s good for you, and it’s good for your clients, who receive the valuable products and services they need.

The bottom line:  Work hard, make money, have fun … and ask for what you want.    — JRI

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