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By Robert Middleton – Action Plan Marketing

There I was in a restaurant, dishing out servings of my wife’s jasmine rice, garlic spinach and turkey curry to eager customers.

My wife has recently started a part-time catering and home meal service and once a month she joins eight or nine other chefs at the Santa Cruz Food Lounge, each selling and dishing out food from various worldwide cuisines. 

We had a healthy supply of sample spoons, and as each person walked by I asked one very simple question:

“Would you like a taste?”

Guess what? Virtually everyone did. And after tasting, many either ordered immediately or came back after checking out the other food offerings. By the end of the evening, we had pretty much sold out.

The question, “Would you like a taste?” stopped people right in their tracks. And you can too!

Here are five simple asks that get a positive response:

1. On your website: “Would you like my free article, report, or video? Click here. It’s free.”

2. On the phone: “Can you help me?” People actually love to help others. It’s a great conversation starter and puts the person you’re talking to into a helping (not resisting) mindset.

3. In an email. “I have some ideas about X that I think you’ll find valuable. Would you like to explore in a short chat?”

4. From the stage: “I have this report that sums up much of what I talked about today. Who would like a copy? Please raise your hand.” One of my clients’ results: Up to 92% request the report.

5. At the end of an initial conversation: “What I usually do at this point is set up a more in-depth exploratory meeting to see if what you need and what I do are a fit. Shall we set up a time to meet?”

Asking – or what I describe as a call-to-action – needs to be a central part of every conversation you have with prospective clients.

By the way, at the next Food Lounge event, after people have had a taste, we’re going to hand them a coupon that asks: “Like what you tasted? Get $1 off your food order if you redeem within 15 minutes.”

Cheers, Robert

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Robert Middleton, the owner of Action Plan Marketing, has for 30 years, been helping Self-Employed Professionals attract more of their ideal clients.  He offers the online membership site, The More Clients Club, and individual coaching and consulting through his Marketing Action Coaching. If this is your first visit to the More Clients blog, make sure to get a copy of the Marketing Plan Workbook and join the Marketing Club Forum for free.