I wrote recently about asking for the order. It’s a pretty fundamental part of selling, and the good sales people delight in it, whereas the less good dread it.

The key to asking this question at the right time is this: is your customer ready to buy? They will never commit to the sale until they’re ready to buy. Some sales people ask for the order too early, get frustrated and tick off their prospect. Some ask too late, and go hungry.

Just as you follow a sales process, so your customer follows a buying process. Your sales process should be aligned to your customers’ buying process, not the other way round. You can’t sell to someone until you know how they want to buy.

When you guide your customer through all the steps you know they need to take to make the purchase, you know they’re ready to buy.

Why not use this as your closing question: ‘Are You Ready to Buy?’ They can only say yes or versions of no. If no, you have more to do to get them to be ready.