The Power of “The Ask”

By Jane Atkinson

We’ve all heard it and inherently know it: The first rule of sales is to… (drum roll please)… ask for the business!

For many speakers, the “Ask” comes into play when we are on the phone with a prospective client in the form of “Would my topic “XYZ” be a good fit for your audience?” However, there is another great opportunity for the “Ask” that I learned many moons ago from speaking legend Thomas Winninger. I’ve tweaked it slightly and call it the “Help Me” portion of your presentation. Here’s how it works.

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Three-quarters of the way into your presentation, right before your closing story (you do have a closing story, don’t you?) you would say the following words.

“As you can see, I am passionate about “XYZ” topic. If you know of any organization who could benefit from this material, please come and hand me your business card after the program.” 

That is it. Just two simple, but highly effective, lines. Here is why it works:

  1. People want to help you, but they do not know how they might do so. You are leading the horse directly to the water.
  1. Your audience wants an excuse to come and talk to you, and now they have one.
  1. You are asking for the business, which is Sales 101.

Next comes the real work – the Follow-up. Make sure you follow-up immediately with everyone that came to talk to you and handed you their business card. Write down the pertinent details of each conversation you have on the back of the card so you can make your responses more specific and personal. This can go a long way in developing new relationships.

While not every conversation or lead you get from this method will become a new opportunity, I can almost guarantee that if done correctly, you will see new business. And if you can get two to three solid spin-off opportunities from your presentations (or at least most of them), you’ve just made your job of marketing 1000 times easier.

So, what do you say Wealthy Speakers? Are you ready to put the power of “The Ask” to work? Don’t be shy… go and ask for the business!

See you soon, Wealthy Speakers!

Jane Atkinson