You Do Need To Ask

People have developed four reasons to explain why a sale does not occur.

  • No Need
  • No Money
  • No Trust
  • No Hurry

As any salesperson will tell you, the “no hurry” is the most trying.

“No need” and “No money” are both easy.  Leave.  The second best thing is a quick “No.”

“No trust” is harder but possible.  Experience can help.  Modifications in style can help.  Changing from sales person to assistant buyer sometimes helps.  Better product offerings can help.  Price is seldom a defining element here, but you should consider it.

None of these are the most common reason that sales fail to happen.

The most common reason is that no one asked for the business or donation or other action.  This article by fundraising guru, Andrey Gidaspov, “The Power of Asking” is instructive.  It takes only a tiny transposition to make it be your product or service.

You will not read more than the last sentence in the first paragraph before you are moved to change some of the things that you routinely do.

He speaks about a person begging for money with a sign.  The beggar makes no contact with the people and relies on his sign to carry the message.  Fail!  Same as a good presentation can fail.

How many times do we rely on presentations, powerful ideas, and contacts to make the sale?  Apparently, never would be the right answer.

In high school if you wanted a date, you did not need to be popular, well-dressed or good looking, but it helped.  You did not need to be an athlete, but it helped.  You did not need a car, but it helped.  You did not need money, but it helped.  In all circumstances though, you did need to ask.

You must ask and the extent to which you have prepared that ask will influence the answer.

The rule you can apply is this.  “You may ask for anything as long as you respect the other person’s right to say no.”

Read the article.  You will learn intriguing things.  For example, if they ask, a beggar receives money from 63.6% more people.  Think how well you could do with a useful and desirable product or service.


Don Shaughnessy is a retired partner in an international public accounting firm and is presently with The Protectors Group, a large personal insurance, employee benefits and investment agency in Peterborough Ontario.

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