The following is an excerpt from Chapter 27 of my 2018 book, Selling Boldly (published by Wiley). You can see it and buy it on Amazon here.

How many times has somebody been selling to you, and you’re ready to go, ready to buy, you may even have your wallet in your hand, but the salesperson doesn’t ask you for the business. So they leave your office without the sale. If only they would have asked, you would have bought. But they didn’t. So you didn’t.

We don’t ask for the business regularly for the same reasons we don’t pick up the phone:


We don’t want to be rejected.

And we don’t want to offend.

But now that you know how good you are, and how happy your customers are; and now that you understand the incredibly important role of confidence and boldness and optimism, it’s time to start asking for the business, every time you talk to somebody.

I’m asking you to pivot to the sale with every customer and prospect you talk to — even those who call in to place an order. Whether you call them, or they call you, pivot to the sale.

The customer is spending time on the phone with you, and you’re spending it with them. They’re interested in buying from you. You’re interested in selling to them.

Ask for the business.

The worst that can happen is that they say no, and you’re precisely where you were when you started the conversation. Nothing got worse.

Questions to pivot to the sale, and ask for the business:

  • Should we write it up?
  • How many would you like?
  • How would you like to pay?
  • Our credit or yours?
  • When can you get me the P.O.?
  • When would you like these delivered?
  • I’ll be in your area on Wednesday and Thursday, which is better for you?
  • I have a dozen in stock, how many do you want?
  • Our prices go up next month, would you like to lock in the current low prices?
  • You’ve been ordering 100 monthly, but did you know there’s a price break at 150?
  • One hundred is good, but 200 is better!
  • I have a little room on the truck, what do you want me to add to fill it up?
  • I have it, let’s do something.
  • If you order it today, I can guarantee delivery tomorrow.
  • I have these available as singles and multi-unit packs, which is better for you?
  • Want to increase to six units and apply the price break?
  • Any questions before I enter your order?
  • When can I expect payment for this?
  • Can I transfer you to place the order?
  • Ready?
  • I can still ship it today if you place your order now.

If you sell services, here are some pivots to the sale for you:

  • Should we begin?
  • Are you ready to start?
  • When do you want to meet?
  • I’m excited to work with you, when do we begin?
  • When can expect the signed proposal back?
  • I have some time for our kick-off call next week, should we book it?
  • I think I’m hearing you say you want to get started?
  • I can meet the second or third week of the month to kick things off, which is better for you?
  • Anything else before we roll?