10 Ways to Ask for the Business

By Alvah Parker, SCORE Accredited Business Counselor

Asking the customer for the business is something that is difficult for many entrepreneurs. For some it feels awkward. Others expect the customer to ask to buy. Still others just forget to do it. Sales are often missed or delayed simply because the seller has forgotten to give the prospect an invitation to buy from him/her.

One way to be sure you do close the sale is to practice your closing questions. Timing is everything here. All through the sales process you need to be sure your prospect sees that your product or service is the best solution to his/her problem. You will need to overcome any objection the potential customer has. Once you see that the prospect has no more questions, it is time to try a closing question. If after a trial close, the customer stalls or has more objections, then you will know the customer is still not ready. You will then need to uncover his/her reasons for stalling or answer the new objections and then try closing again. Here is a list of questions that you could use to close the business.

  • Here are all the requirements you gave me. Have I got them all? We are able to meet all your specifications. You’ve said you need this by this date and we will be able to do that for you. Have I answered all your questions? When can I pick up the check for $______ so we can begin?
  • You have told me you need to get this done quickly so let's schedule an appointment to begin working on it. What is the best day for you to get started?
  • Imagine the relief you will feel when this is all straightened out! Let's get started working on it this week! Can you come in on Friday to sign the contract?
  • What color would be best for you? Great, then shall I move forward and place the order?
  • I'd love to work with you on this, when shall we begin?
  • Is there anyone else that needs to approve this decision? Are you ready to go forward with this?
  • What is the time frame in which you want to accomplish this? To meet your schedule it would be best to start by _______ don't you agree? We’ll need to process your order immediately. All I need is your signature on this order to begin. (Have pen and order ready.)
  • I can get this done for you by Wednesday of next week, would you like me to call you on Wednesday or would you like to schedule an appointment for that day?
  • When you are ready to begin to work with me you will need to give me ________. (signed contract, credit card number etc.) Would you like to do that now?
  • Since you know you want to do this, are you ready to get started?