A while ago I went to an art sale in a local gallery. All the artists were there with some selected works. Virtually all of them sat next to their work, behind a desk and glanced timidly when I started looking at their work. There was a lot of great work there but I actually felt slightly intimidated as I know nothing about art.
However there was a particularly lady who came up to me, smiled and said “Hi, why are you here today?” I was a bit taken aback, but then explained that we were looking for some paintings to hang in our hallway. We started talking about the size of what would fit (which I could handle) and then got into a discussion about taste and style. Then she asked “would you like to see some of my work? I think it will fit well with what you are looking for”. I’ll let you guess whether I bought something.
It’s amazing...we build up a rapport, have a great meeting, explain everything to the prospect, they love us!!...and then they go somewhere else. Or we have a brilliant meeting with an introducer and he never gives us a deal.
I worked with a person once who all the introducers and prospects loved – but he never did a deal. He ended up leaving, and I was intrigued to know why he was unsuccessful – so I called some of his prospects...this was the general response:
Prospect: “we loved Joe; he was a really great guy”
Me: “so why didn’t you give him the business?”
Prospect: “Oh, he didn’t really ask for it, it felt like it didn’t really matter to him”
The prospect / introducer needs to know that you are not there to have a nice time or to keep him informed – you are there to get business.
You must ask the question at the end of a meeting. With introducers:
“So, do you have any clients that you think we might be able to help?”
With prospects where you have delivered the offer:
“I really want your business, do we have a deal?”
It so obvious and so simple, but so many people don’t ask the vital question. Don’t be one of the people that show the world their talent but never ask for the business.