Simple Sales Tracking Blog

Do You Ask For The Business?

This week I will look at what some consider the most critical phase of the sales process – asking for the business.

In a well planned presentation this should be the easiest phase however for the majority of salespeople this in fact is the scariest part.

Statistics consistently show that in 62% of presentations the salesperson does not ask for the business. There is an old saying – “If you don’t ask of the business then you are working for the opposition!”

You research the company, gain a referral, get the appointment, do your presentation, uncover a real need, create the awareness of the problem – but then you don’t ask for the business. You then sit there waiting for the buyer to say they are just dying to get their hands on your solution – in reality you can wait forever with some buyers.

The next salesperson that visits your prospect, who now is fully aware of their needs and is ready to buy and indeed does – gets the business!

Human behavioral studies have revealed we are 5 times more likely to say yes if we are asked so why wouldn’t we ask?

When it comes to confirming the business you as the seller should know exactly which way the buyer is leaning in their decision to buy.

The reason so many salespeople have such a problem with asking for the business is they have no sales process to help understand firstly the needs of the buyer and next the importance of those needs.

What we tend to see in most presentations is what I call ‘show & tell”. We show up, introduce ourselves, engage in some chitchat and then proceed to tell the buyer everything about ourselves and our company. We then ask a few questions and identify some potential needs and launch into the solution phase of the presentation by telling the buyer what he or she needs and all the benefits they will derive from buying this solution.

Because we do most of the talking there is little opportunity for the buyer to draw any conclusions and express any positive buying signals and in fact it gives them more opportunities to raise objections.

Objections generally are raised in the sales process when the seller makes statement the buyer disagrees with or when solutions are presented before the real need is uncovered.

There are a number of questions that need to be answered in the buyers mind before they make the buying decision. These are –

1. Exactly what are you offering?
2. Why do I need (or want) it?
3. How can I believe your claims?
4. Why should I get if from you?
5. How fast can I get it?
6. What if I don’t like it after I get it?
7. What do I need to do to get it?

The buyers may not consciously think of these questions but they will not buy until all seven are answered in their minds. It is important to note that the sale is made in the buyers mind before we ask for confirmation of the business.

As usual I will be continuing with the topic of asking for the business in my next article.

Quote of the Week:
In the words of the famous Zig Ziglar
“You miss 100% of the sales you don’t ask for”

Have a successful week!


Brett Burgess is a Sales Trainer and Programme Developer for Moss and Associates International.

Filed under: Sales Techniques and Strategy

Getting Started Video Tuturial Series – Now Available On The Website!

March 17, 2008

Based on a number of requests we’ve received for a “getting started” style video tutorial series, we’ve published a series of 5 videos, which cover the following areas:

  • Video 1: SignUp & Login (6:10 minutes)
  • Video 2: Creating Your First Contact & Lead (5:29 minutes)
  • Video 3: Upgrading a Lead to an Opportunity (7:39 minutes)
  • Video 4: Overview of the Start and List Pages. Upgrading an Opportunity to an Account. (10:28 minutes)
  • Video 5: Settings and Admin Pages (2:23 minutes)

To view the videos online, visit the website or click here.

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At any time, contact us at with your feedback and requests.

Filed under: How To's

Are You Asking the Right Questions?

By Brett Burgess

As we have discussed in previous articles closing or in our process confirming the sale should be the easiest part of your sales process if you have indeed followed a process to understand your buyer’s explicit needs.

The process I am talking about is all about asking a list of pre-prepared questions to get a full understanding of whether or not the person you are talking to has a real need for any solutions you may have to offer.

Most of us as salespeople ask plenty of questions anyway but they are usually self-serving to help us quickly find some sort of need so we can get on with “selling” our solution. Unfortunately the buyer recognizes these questions for what they are as they have heard them all before from 100 different salespeople and are therefore prepared with their stock standard objections.

The trouble with these types of questions is they do nothing to help you uncover buying motives which in turn inhibits your ability to progress the sale. They make you look like every other salesperson selling a similar product or service and if you look like everyone else then the buyer’s only determining point will be price and in this competition the most desperate salesperson usually gets the sale.

Another key issue is we don’t get the important information from the buyer to be able to adapt our solution specifically to our buyers needs. What we end up doing is prescribing before we have actually diagnosed the real problem or opportunity for the buyer. Imagine if you went to your Doctor and he asked you a few basic questions and then wrote a prescription without delving into the real symptoms of your problem. How confident would you be in his prescription?

Some of the more common questions you shouldn’t be asking include –

How long have you been in business?
Who are your key markets?
How many staff do you have?
Who is your current supplier?
What is your budget for.?

And some of the dumbest questions which you should never ask –

“Have you ever heard of us?” or “What do you know about our company?”

If you have to ask this question, it means you’re probably trying to make certain that your prospect has not had a bad experience with your company prior to your arrival. It’s not important whether they have heard of you before – you are not there to talk about yourself – you are there to identify their needs and talk about solutions. You can gain more credibility by asking intelligent questions than talking about what a great company you belong to and how long you have been in the industry or profession.

“Can you tell me a little bit about your company?”

This question shows your buyer that you were too lazy to bother doing any research on them. Don’t ask any questions that you could have researched prior to the meeting. When you ask buyers historical questions about themselves and their business there is no value to them and they see this as a waste of their time.

The key is to do your research, plan your questions and then follow your plan.

Quote of the Week:
It is better to choose what you say than say what you choose

Brett Burgess is a Sales Trainer and Programme Developer for Moss and Associates International.

Filed under: Sales Techniques and Strategy,

Are You Listening for the Buying Signals?

We have been discussing buying signals loosely defined as –  “cues given by
the buyer that they may be ready to commit”.

In a typical sales presentation where the seller has identified a key need
of the buyer, the buyer will give buying signals.  This is great if our
salesperson is following a logical planned presentation process however in
the majority of presentations, in fact by study 51% (this is still a
majority!) there is no planned process.  So what we end up with is fairly
random questions with buying signals here and there – the result for the
buyer is mixed feeling as to their exact needs and for the seller mixed
buying signals hence the reluctance to ask for the business.

A planned process helps both parties to get a clear idea of the need, if one
exists, to progress.  For the buyer consistent buying signals create the
clarity and urgency to address the needs or opportunities and for the seller
it creates the confidence to present the best solution and ask for the

There are buying signals that many salespeople miss that are embedded much
earlier in the selling process.   To catch them requires listening and
thinking about whom you are working with and what type of buyers they are.
Salespeople should listen to determine what the buying style of the prospect
actually is.   Some people buy based on logic.  Some people buy on emotion.
Some people buy on what they perceive to be the ultimate consensus, or just
plain politics, which is how they think the other people in the organization
will perceive their buying action.  If you listen, those people will tell
you how you can sell them.

Buyer questions are good buying signals.  Some examples are –

  1. Questions about availability or time – “Are these in stock?…”

  2. Questions about delivery – “How soon can someone be here?”…”How
    much notice do I have to give you?”

  3. Specific questions about rates, price, or statements about
    affordability –  “How much does this model cost?”.”What is the price of this
    fax machine?”.”I don’t know if I can afford that model.”

  4. Any questions or statements about money – “How much money would I
    have to put down to get this?”

  5. Positive questions about you or your business – “How long have you
    been with the company?”.. “How long has your company been in business?”

  6. Wanting something repeated – “What was that you said before about
    financing?”.”Tell me about the.again”

  7. Questions about productivity – “How many copies per month is this
    machine rated for?”

  8. Questions about quality, guarantee, or warranty – “How long is this
    under warranty?”..”How long will this last?”

  9. Questions about qualifications (yours or the companies) – “Can all
    of your people answer questions on the phone?”

This is not the entire list but I’m sure you get the picture.

We will continue with the subject of closing in my next article.

Have a successful week!

Brett Burgess is a Sales Trainer and Programme Developer for Moss and
Associates International.

Quote of the Week:

A mediocre salesman tells
A good salesman explains
A superior salesman demonstrates
Great salesmen inspire buyers to see the benefits as their own
Carolyn Shamis

Filed under: Sales Techniques and Strategy, ,

Simple Sales Tracking Gets Mention on Innovation Resource Centre Blog

The Innovation Resource Centre, based in Prince George, BC mentions Simple Sales Tracking in a recent blog post, highlighting the benefits of the system.  More at: and


Filed under: Buzz and Reviews, , , ,


Simple Sales Tracking is web-based sales CRM software for the tracking, analysis and forecasting of individual and team sales pipeline and contacts.

Built with simplicity at its core, focus is kept on key sales tasks, while eliminating unnecessary ones, helping to ensure buy-in of the entire sales team.
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