Richard Maun – Ask For Ye Olde Order

better business blog

Tips and stories to add value to you and your organisation


Ask For Ye Olde Order

28 May 2017

If you were reading this blog out loud, how would you pronounce the title?

Would you say ‘yee oldee order’ or ‘yee old order’..?

Well, actually both would be wrong because the letter y in this case isn’t a letter y, it is in fact an old English letter called a thorn. It’s pronounced th as in the old order. We can use this fact to impress tourists, next time we are visiting Ye Olde Shoppe at whatever place takes our fancy.

Always good I think to challenge assumptions and replace them with facts and such is the way with sales activity too.

One of the first things I learned, when a very green business development manager many years ago, was that half the time people fail to close a deal simply because they don’t actually ask for the order.

Instead they deliver their presentation with panache and then retreat to wait for the order to arrive.  If it does turn up they claim a success, but if it doesn’t they assume there was no chance anyway and move on to the next opportunity.

This seems a bit arbitrary to me. People like to be sold to. They enjoy the attention afforded to them and the time taken to explain things and to have their questions answered. Whenever I have visited a local market it always seems that the stalls doing the best are the ones who engage people, offering product tasters and inviting conversation. 

The stalls with vendors hiding quietly behind their wares do less trade, as people pick up the psychological waves of discomfort emanating from behind the jars of jam, or piles of pasties.

I’m sure we have all been there and despite being interested in some tasty comestibles, have walked past and purchased a nibble from a stall further down the line.

It really doesn’t matter what our business is, whether it’s jam or jet engines. We can all ask for the order. We can all take a breath, offer the product and say:

“We have a special deal today…buy one jet engine and get one free! How many would you like?”

Of course that example might work better with jam, but you get the picture.

We can choose to close the deal. We can be assertive. We can find the words to test someone’s committment to purchase and make sure we chalk up another success.

We can also know that if they are not going to buy we won’t put them off by asking for the order. Unless we are crashingly rude, or insensitive, us asking does not change the outcome. It merely gives us information that we can respond to.

We can ask for ye olde order! And if we don’t then someone else will!

Next week: Dr Blue Sky


Click cover to view details on Amazon


Riding the Rocket

How to manage your Modern Career

Published 2013 Marshall Cavendish



Bouncing Back

How to get going again after a career setback

Published 2012 Marshall Cavendish



How to Keep Your Job

Brilliant ways to increase performance, stay employed and keep the money rolling in

Published 2011 Marshall Cavendish



Job Hunting 3.0

Secrets and skills to sell yourself effectively in the Modern Age

Published 2010 Marshall Cavendish



Leave the Bastards Behind

An insider's guide to working for yourself

Published 2007 Cyan Books and Marshall Cavendish



My Boss is a Bastard

Surviving turmoil at work

Published 2006 Cyan Books and Marshall Cavendish


© Richard Maun 2015 / Click here to contact