Any experienced sales person knows that they have to “ask for the sale”. But for those of us who are not in sales, this concept is a little bit harder to practice. Marketing tends to be the softer-spoken partner in the dynamic duo of sales and marketing. But the job of a marketer is provide information, build relationships, and ultimately ask for the sale, in their own way.
The Marketer’s Role in “Asking for the Sale”:
- Ask for action
- Ask for a recommendation
- Ask for a referral
Ask for Action
When writing copy for your website or landing page or printed material, are you including a clear call-to-action? Your website’s call-to-action is comparable to a sales person asking for the sale. Review your web copy or blog posts to see if you are clearly telling your customer what you want them to do next. When you are seeking comments on your blog post, ask probing questions or simply ask for comments in the blog post to encourage interaction.
Ask for a Recommendation
There are great places across the web for reviews or recommendations. Think about how you could be proactive asking for recommendations, but first how you can give credit to people you trust and want to recommend for your business.
- On Facebook, Pages that are tied to a Place can now get recommendations/reviews. Once a person “likes” your page, a recommendation box will be in the right hand column, and they can write a review.
Try this first: Recommend your favorite place on Facebook.
- On Twitter, ask for a retweets! Here is a little secret: Tweets that have the words “Please ReTweet” or “Please RT”, get up to 4x more tweets! Trying asking for a retweet, and see what happens!
Try this first: Make a habit of retweeting great content on Twitter.
- On Linkedin, connections can recommend their connections. If you want to build your personal brand or company brand, why not ask someone who has worked with you to back that up with an endorsement?
Try this first: Recommend a trusted connection on LinkedIn.
Ask for the Referral
- Think about your most satisfied customers. Would they be willing to give you referrals of their colleagues or partners who may also be interested in your products or services? Most of the time, people are thrilled to provide their referrals, when you are deserving.
Try this first: Think of how you can connect people who can help each other.
- When new customers come to you, ask how they heard about your company. When you get a referral from someone, take the time to say “thank you” with a note, small gift, or even a rewards program. Gratitude and recognition goes a long way.
Try this first: If there is someone you haven’t said “thank you” to yet, send them a note right now.
Before you ask, what can you give?
How can you give to your customers and communities and build relationships with them? Before expecting something, think about what you have given and what you can give. Relationships need to be win-win, and your customers and online communities expect and deserve this. You can give simple things like online interaction, recommendations, recognition, information, and shared connections. Giving first will also make asking a little easier!
What are the first steps you are going to take to ask for action, a referral or a recommendation? Will you be catching up with what you can give first?