The Art Of The Request by Russ DeVan

Russ DeVan

Have you ever heard this: “Hey, that sounds great! I’ll call you next week?” 

How about “Let me check with my spouse and let’s talk later?” Then there’s “I need to make sure I’ve got enough to cover that amount and I’ll get back to you?” 

Believe me, I’ve heard every one and a few more to boot!

“The fortune is in the follow-up!” all great trainers will say.

 Yes, okay, but HOW do you  GET to “follow up?” 

I believe one thing that’s in the way, is the natural concern we have about being thought of as “pushy” or “high pressure” and because of this, we let conversations end in vague ambiguity. This is a game we all play and go along with called “Avoid making or asking for a commitment…. at all costs.” 

Let me tell you, this can be one EXPENSIVE game!

A great coach of mine named Mike Smith used to say: “There is no action without a request.” 

This principle is all around us, every day, and often we don’t see it because it is so subtle. Think about it. There are verbal and non-verbal requests we experience all the time. When a waitress asks to take your order, is that a request? When you specify that your steak be cooked “medium rare” is that a request? If you didn’t ask, and it came back like shoe leather, would you blame the chef… OR the waitress? Every time a Quarterback throws a ball, is it NOT a request for his receiver to catch it?

In the sport of sales, rarely does someone just “jump” on something from an initial conversation.

Promoting creating sales is about people choosing to do something, rather than being carefully manipulated into it.

So the “see ya later” reaction from a customer or prospect often disarms us because it creates the illusion we’ve got something we, in reality, do not.

Here’s what I’ve learned. When it comes to following- up clarity is “king.”

It takes practice and LISTENING carefully. There are two magic words that can change your life AND boost your results: “By when?”

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Russ DeVan
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