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I was buying a New York Times at the airport recently and the cashier asked, “Would you like a Kindle with your purchase today?”

“A Kindle?” I asked, “Do you mean a two hundred something dollar Kindle? What an upsell!” I replied, “Does any one take you up on that?”

“Oh, about one out of fifty,” she said, “but I’ve sold ten since I started!”

That reminded me that if we don’t ask we don’t get. I remember reading a report last year that showed that less than 50% of all salespeople ever asked for the order, let alone a proportionately large order.

So why is that? Asking for the sale takes courage and the ability to handle rejection. But, after all, courage is a fundamental trait of all great salespeople.

My mentor once told me, “The question you’re afraid to ask is always the question you must ask.”

I always make it a habit to ask the customer to buy early and often. A simple, “Do you want one yet?” goes a long way. If they say no, simply ask, “Apparently you have a reason for feeling that way, do you mind if I ask what it is?” If the customer says yes, start filling out he purchase order. If they voice an objection, great! Better now that later.
Great salespeople strategically develop trial closes throughout their presentations designed to gain commitment, and they ask them with confidence. Moreover they sense intuitively when the customer is getting excited, and they spontaneously pose closing questions.

Try it today, simply ask, “Would you like a beachfront villa with that Pepsi?” or we give away T-shirts when customers buy Ferraris, would you like a T-shirt?”

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