Asking for the order is a key sales principle. In fact, it’s a key life principle! If you don’t ask, you don’t get! This can often come off as a “duh” kind of statement. If you want someone to buy from you, you should probably ASK them to buy from you! Agreed?
But year after year, study after study show that salespeople will often perform an entire sales presentation and fail to ask for the order at the end. Bottom line: it’s scary for many of us to ask people to buy something. So we leave them to figure it out for themselves. We do this in the name of politeness, but really we do it out of fear. As I probably don’t even need to tell you…it rarely produces the desired result.
Internet marketers and bloggers are big culprits of this as well, not just sales people in a classic, traditional sense. Most often, as much as I hate to say it, bloggers. So many bloggers want to make money yet fail to ever ask for it. They don’t want to be pushy. It’s understandable. But the sentiment is misplaced. I’ll explain in a sec…
First, it’s important to understand that asking for the order goes for making sales but also for many other things as well.
- Do you want your readers to comment your posts?
- Do you want people to tweet out your articles…
- Link to your site?
- Download your free ebook?
Tell your readers what you want. Ask for the order. If you don’t, you’re expecting them to telepathically figure out what you want, and well frankly…why should they go through the trouble? If you want to get good results as often as possible…make it easy for them!
Where to Get Confidence to Ask for the Order
Asking for what you want requires confidence. Confidence comes from three places:
- Genuine Value
I’ve trained over a thousand sales people, and I can report that very few people are good at sales starting out. I sure wasn’t. Selling simply does not come naturally to most people. It is a skill set you acquire through hard work and practice. One thing about sales is very cool. If you follow the rules, you get the results, period.
Employ these three principles, and you’ll get the results you’re looking for!
Genuine value is the element I mention first, because it’s the foundation. If you don’t create genuine value for your readers, everything else is a farce. There’s a difference between selling via confidence and simply trying to make money.
Selling is not the act of extracting money from people’s wallets. Selling is the act of freely and voluntarily exchanging real value. Give your reader something very valuable, and then they reciprocate. It’s a win-win. It all starts with value. If you skip this part, the exchange is empty, and you won’t be in this business for long.
This is why I mentioned earlier that the fear of being pushy is misplaced. It’s pushy to try to get something for nothing. It’s pushy to expect someone to pay for something they don’t need. It’s pushy to pressure someone to do something that’s not in their best interest. You’re not doing anything of this sort.
What you’re doing is providing highly valuable information to people who have specifically sought you out, because they want what you’re offering. And as it happens, you’re good at what you do, and you’d like to be able to keep doing it. In order for that to happen, you simply need to get results. It’s fair and necessary to ask for what you want. And your readers aren’t going to know unless you tell them what that is.
How do you create genuine value for your readers? Be good at what you do! Study your business like a mad man. Write quality, helpful content, put out good stuff. That’s the first step.
It’s important to understand that this step doesn’t work all by itself. It’s just step one of three. Many bloggers put out awesome content and still fail to make money or get results. It’s not just about genuine value, but it’s a necessary first step.
Technique is simply a matter of making sure you’re very clear on what results you need and expect from your blog, and then systematically going through to make sure every element of your site, from the opt in boxes you use to the way you manage your email marketing, is arranged in such a way that it is clear to your readers what you’re offering and what you want them to do.
There are a number of ways to ask for what you want when it comes to managing a blog. As I mentioned before, it’s not just a matter of selling products when it comes to blogging. You want people to comment on your posts, subscribe to your email list, buy your affiliate products, etc. There are likely a number of actions you want your readers to take. It’s important to ask! Try these specific steps. They are all ways of asking, and getting:
- Put a line in your theme so it displays at the end of every post, asking visitors to comment.
- Make sure you have 2-3 opt in boxes per page. Your opt in box should be visible from anywhere on your site.
- Use a pop-up to build email subscriptions as well
- Use a free gift to further entice people to subscribe
- Your outgoing email messages should give valuable information and offer interaction with your subscribers, but they should also regularly offer something for sale
Use a plugin like TweetThis that makes it easy for people to share your content with others, and make sure to remind people on occasion…”Hey, if you like this post, please retweet it…” you get the idea.
Clearly, different blogs have different goals, but this list is a start. The idea is to have your goals in order, and then simply make sure your site and the way you manage it is conducive to getting the results you want.
This element is crucial as well. The fact is that when it comes to business blogging, turning your readers into advocates, customers and clients is an ongoing process. The more you practice the better you get.
I’m surprised sometimes at how often someone will ask me why they’re not making money from their blog when, with all due respect, all they’ve done is put up a dozen posts or so and install an Adsense module. Maybe a couple affiliate links. That will make you some cash…if you’re getting several thousand visitors a day. Short of that, you’re going to need to be more aggressive and tactful in your approach.
Think of your blog as a small retail shop. You’re not WalMart. WalMart puts a bunch of stuff up on it’s shelves, sells everything really cheap and then brings in massive amounts of people through. That creates sales. You’re not WalMart, so don’t follow their business model!
What happens in a small retail shop? There are fewer items for sale, and the prices are higher. But things are also very clean. There is character, and when you walk in, a friendly person walks up, smiles and warmly says “Hi! How can I help you?” Personal service. One-on-one engagement. Details…these things matter. And they also add up to you being able to make a fine living off any niche you want. But you gotta ask for the order 🙂
Here’s the bottom line: sales is simple. It’s hard work getting results on a day-to-day basis. But the process is not hard to understand. It’s just a lot of work 🙂 It’s why you’ve got guys like Gary Vaynerchuk yelling at us to get our hustle on. You have to believe in what you’re doing. And you have to LOVE what you’re doing, because to build a small business that makes bank…is a lot of hard work. No magical web design, no plugin, no kick ass turnkey business opportunity is going to save you from that reality.
That said, if you’re willing to really work it, there is massive opportunity out there! And the fundamentals of sales are steadfast. They are simple, and they remain simple.
If you’re not getting results from your site…there is something broken in your implementation of the steps I just outlined. You’re either not asking for what you want, you’re not asking often enough or *gasp* you’re not creating genuine value for your readers. One way or another, your fortune lies locked behind door one, two or three! All you gotta do is go figure out which one and smash down the door!