Wednesday, January 24, 2007

7 Ways To Boost Your Business

As a big fan of Mark Victor Hansen, this article he has on the DSWA website is perfect for our business. A lot of people ask me "how are you getting these bloggers?, how are you getting these people to come on board with you?, how are you getting such great party sales?" Honestly I just expect it and I always ask. I think that is one of the biggest differences with me is I have grown up with an entrepreneurial father who also asked and was told NO a lot, but it didn't kill him! And the more he was told NO the more he was also told YES! Hopefully this article helps impact your Wednesday!

7 Ways to Boost Your Business, Simply by Asking!

By Mark Victor Hansen Submitted by: DSWA

The gift called asking has been around for a long, long time. In fact, one of life's fundamental truths states, ask and you shall receive. Kids are masters at using this gift but we adults seem to lose our ability to ask. We come up with all sorts of excuses and reasons to avoid any possibility of rejection. Yet the world responds to those who ask. If you are not moving closer to what you want in sales, you probably aren't doing enough asking.

Fortunately, to help create abundance there are many ways to ask. Since the rewards of asking are substantial, why do people stumble when they have an opportunity to ask? There are three basic reasons:

1. They have a belief system that says it's not right to ask.

2. They lack confidence.

3. They fear rejection.

If any of these three negative forces are playing havoc with your opportunity to get ahead, you must use what is called taking the leap of faith. That means releasing old beliefs, feeling good about yourself and understanding that life isn't perfect. It's normal to experience a lot of roadblocks along the way.


1. Ask for information.
To win potential new clients, you first need to know what their current challenges are, what they want to accomplish and how they plan to do it. Only then can you proceed to demonstrate the advantages of your unique product or service. Ask questions starting with the words, who, why, what, where, when and how to obtain the information you need. Only when you truly understand and appreciate the needs of a prospect can you offer a solution. If everything fits, the solution will be your product or service.

2. Ask for business.
Here's an amazing statistic: After doing a complete presentation about the benefits of their product or service, more than 60 percent of the time, salespeople never ask for the order. That's a bad habit, one that could ultimately put you on the selling scrap heap.

Always ask a closing question to secure the business. Don't waffle, talk around it, or worse, wait for your prospect to ask you. You have read good suggestions for these questions, like "Would you like to give it a try?' The point is, just ask. Note that these questions are designed to produce a yes or no answer, unlike the open type questions used in the discovery process.

3. Ask for written endorsements.
Well-written, results-oriented testimonials from highly respected people are powerful for future sales. They solidify the quality of your work and leverage you as a person who has integrity, is trustworthy and who gets the job done on time. Yet most people in sales don't do this. That gives you a great opportunity to jump ahead of your competition. All you need to do is ask. When is the best time? Right after you have provided excellent service, completed a major project under budget, gone the extra mile to help out, or any other time you've made your customer really happy.

Simply ask if your customer would be willing to give you a testimonial about the value of your product or service, plus any other helpful comments.

4. Ask for top-quality referrals.
Just about everyone in business knows the importance of referrals. It's the easiest, least-expensive way of ensuring your growth and success in the marketplace. In our experience, however, only one out of ten companies has a system for gathering referrals.
Your core clients will gladly give you referrals because you treat them so well. So why not ask all of them for referrals? It's a habit that will dramatically increase your income. Like any other habit, the more you do it the easier it becomes.

5. Ask for more business.
Salespeople lose thousands of dollars in sales every year because they have nothing more to offer after the initial sale. Look for other products or services you can provide your customers. Devise a system that tells you when your clients will require more of your products. The simplest way is to ask your customers when you should contact them to reorder. It's often easier to sell your existing clients more than to go looking for new ones.

6. Ask to renegotiate.
Regular business activities include negotiation. Many salespeople get stuck because they lack skills in negotiation. It's another form of asking that can save a lot of time and money. All sorts of contracts can be renegotiated in your own personal life like changing your mortgage terms and rate. As long as you negotiate ethically and in the spirit of win-win, you can enjoy a lot of flexibility. Nothing is ever cast in stone.

7. Ask for feedback.
This is an important component of asking that is often overlooked. How do you really know if your product or service is meeting the needs of your customer? Ask them, "How are we doing? What can we do to improve our service to you? Tell us what you like about our products and what you don't like. " Set up regular customer surveys that ask good questions and tough questions. It's a way to fine-tune your business.


Some people don't enjoy the fruits of asking because they don't ask effectively. If you use vague, unspecific language you will not be understood. Here are four ways to ensure that your asking gets results.

1. Ask clearly.
Be precise. Think clearly about your request. Take time to prepare. Use a notepad to pick words that have the greatest impact. Words are powerful, so choose them carefully.

2. Ask with confidence.
People who ask confidently get more than those who are hesitant and uncertain. When you've figured out what you want to ask for, do it with certainty, boldness and confidence. This does not mean being brash, arrogant or conceited. The only negative thing that can happen is that your request may be denied. You are in no worse position than before. It just means that you need to look for another route for results.

3. Ask consistently.
Some people fold after making one timid request. They quit too soon. Keep asking until you find the answers. In sales there are usually four or five "no's" before you get a "yes. " Top producers understand this. When you find a way to ask that works, keep on asking it.

4. Ask creatively.
In this age of global competition, your asking may get lost in the crowd, unheard by the decision-makers you hope to reach. There is a way around this. If you want someone's attention, don't send an ordinary letter. Use your creativity to dream up a high- impact introduction. You may not want to go so far as the saleswoman who sent a chief buyer a homing pigeon with her card attached to one leg. On the card she had written, "If you want to know more about our product, just throw our representative out the window." Think of what you can do to create a powerful impact with your most important prospects and don't be surprised when those impenetrable doors swing wide open to welcome you in.

5. Ask sincerely.
When you really need help, people will respond. Sincerity means dropping the image facade and showing a willingness to be vulnerable. Tell it the way it is, lumps and all. Don't worry if your presentation isn't perfect; ask from your heart. Keep it simple and people will open up to you.

When you've exhausted all avenues to get what you want, people are more likely to give a helping hand when you ask for support. People who ask for a free ride all the time rarely succeed.

Mark Victor Hansen is the co-author of the wildly successful Chicken Soup for the Soul series and The One Minute Millionaire. He is also founder of “Goal-Mining Challenge” visit

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