Now is the Time to Ask for the Sale

Everyone is always looking for more business and/or new business. Whether you’re a songwriter, recording artist, publicist (ahem), content creator, or, well, the list goes on, you’ve got targets and opportunities. One of the tough questions to answer is, when to make “the ask.”

In this blog and on my weekly “ Now Hear This Entertainment” podcast you see and hear me write and say that you can never have too many contacts. I have stressed — and a number of my guests have reiterated — the importance of relationships. And I stand by the fact that you don’t lead with having your hand out. However, there does come a time where you see how someone can potentially help you. Hopefully, you can help them too, but it’s not going to be ten out of ten times.

But you tense up and get nervous and feel like you can’t or shouldn’t ask for what you want from them — even if it’s their help instead of the bigger goal, which is their business.

Each Sunday on the official Instagram account for the podcast I post a quote from a past guest. Eight days ago it was from Rick Monsipapa, who, on NHTE 237, gave advice for selling your music, getting bookings, finding sponsors or endorsement deals, branding yourself — essentially, better positioning yourself to get more opportunities. One of his statements on that episode was, “The close starts at, ‘Hi, I’m Rick’.”

Confused? You want to ask someone for something, right?

Timing is everything. It’s not the first time you meet someone, but if you wait and wait and wait and wait and wait, you’re probably never going to ask. So, here’s one tip.

I helped someone out with something at no charge, which was a glimpse into the type of work I could do. Then I asked for their business.

Similarly, a client of mine is looking for an additional venue where she can have a residency. She told me that if I find a place that’s a good fit, tell them she’ll perform there the first time at no charge, so they can see the show they’re going to get and the audience she’ll bring in.

Once people see proof like the two examples above then it becomes a case of, “When do we start?”

It’s like a sales trainer I encountered many years ago who encouraged the people he was training to listen to a potential buyer’s wants (sometimes disguised in their objection), and then say, “So if I could get that for you, then would it be Visa, Mastercard, or American Express?”

In the music business especially, there are SO many times that you encounter the word No. Don’t fear that result or you’ll never ask. And when you see someone else getting the opportunity, you’ll only have yourself to blame because you never asked.

I once got my podcast featured on a prominent sign in the Tampa Bay area at a very busy intersection. I’d never done any business with the company it stands out in front of, and I didn’t know anyone who worked there. I simply walked in and asked. First, if I didn’t, no one else was going to do it for me. And second, the worst they could say was No.

At one of my speaking engagements, I told the audience that for years I was in denial, saying, “No, I’m in PR, I’m not in sales.” Trust me, everyone is selling something. It’s the way you approach it that determines how that relationship, and then the corresponding transaction, will go.

As the year winds down and you either look at what didn’t happen in 2021 or what you’d like to see happen in 2022, rally around the above and make the decision to ask for the sale. Even if it’s “just” a co-write with a songwriter that you’ve always wanted to try to create a song with, that’s still trying to get a Yes from someone. Try it, and then build upon that momentum, that success, when they agree to do it.

Still unsure? Let’s hop on a private, one-on-one, online video consultation so you can take advantage of my more than 15 years working with independent artists across the country. Our confidential conversation will help you sort through your challenges and keep you moving ahead. And be sure to give me your feedback on this blog too, either on Facebook, Twitter, or LinkedIn, or just written to me in an email.

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Bruce Wawrzyniak

I’m a manager and publicist, running Now Hear This, Inc., an agency that has served clients nationwide. Plus, I host a weekly podcast and am a national speaker.