For decades we have been told to keep control and steer the client but in today’s climate, clients are becoming savvy and resistant to ‘being sold’. It is time to break the mould.

Your sales process will have natural breaks, points where you pause before moving on to the next portion of the conversation. At these break points simply ask the client for permission to continue. Simple!

You will find that your clients will almost always hand control straight back to you.

They will either acknowledge acceptance of what has been said and hand control straight back to you or bring up something (an objection) that has been missed. Either way they feel involved and in control, and we must find all the objections before we move on.

It is all in how you communicate with your client. The simplest way to demonstrate how this works is to look at a couple of examples. Simply use questions more.

“Thanks for making the time to see me. Let me tell you how we work.” 

could be 

“Thanks for making the time to see me. Would it be okay f I tell you how we work?” 


“That is very interesting. What I’d like to do now is...” could become, “That is very interesting. If it’s okay with you, what I would like to do now is..." 

You achieve a number of good outcomes

No hard sell

Selling today is about leading clients to conclusions they feel they have reached themselves with your guidance. The simple act of handing control back to a client allows them to be an active partner in the sales process. They feel they lead the conversation and are actively making the decisions.

Making yourself vulnerable in this way can actually enhance your own credibility. It shows the client that you are willing to give them the right to say yes or no.

Form relationships

By giving this control back and involving your client, you actually deepen the relationship with them significantly.

Reduce fears – yours!

Many sales people fear saying the wrong thing. Asking permission gives you reinforcement that you are on the right track.

Allow objections

Uncovering objections can be difficult, especially for those with less experience. Asking permission periodically allows your client to interpret what they have just heard and voice their concerns or questions. We all know we need to uncover and solve them.

Closing the sale

By asking permission and building the relationship the close is much more natural and assumptive. It just flows.

Give control — Gain the sale

So use asking permission as a way of rounding out that process, uncovering the objections, cementing the relationship, and making sure the client is completely happy with everything before moving on. Tick the box for each step of your sales process until you reach the end.

You can be confident you have done a great job, uncovered and dealt with any concerns and developed a relationship. All leading to far easier business completion now and in the future.

So remember, give a little — get a lot.

Bill James is a Certified Speaking Professional. He helps you find the business, open the door and make the connection. His ideas are easy to understand and implement – and they work. email or phone 0064 9 4412164


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