Yesterday I was downtown working on a project. I got a little hungry so I went for a slice of pizza. While ordering my slice, the owner asked, “would you like a drink with that?”

“No thanks!”

I drink a lot of water… I keep a few of bottles in my glove box, and when I’m downtown I usually carry more than one for anyone homeless I might see. So I didn’t need a drink that day, however, I did buy a cookie. But that’s not the point. The point is how YOU as an entrepreneur can sell more by simply asking, “would you like?”.

But how does this work online?

The biggest marketing fail I see entrepreneurs make is: hoarding the promotional phase. Promotion isn’t marketing — promotion only increases awareness. Marketing sells! Promotion is the first course of action to get you there.

To sell you need to ask questions and walk people through the buying process. You can’t launch a product or service and just expect people to come… you have to guide them.

McDonald’s would have left a lot of revenue on the table if they’d never asked, “would you like?”

Sometimes people need a little prompting. They don’t always know what they need until you make them aware of it. I didn’t need a drink that day at the pizza shop, but I did want something sweet, so I went for a cookie. I was prompted to reevaluate my needs. And that’s what you should make people do online.

So no one should share a video, blog, picture, or idea without asking “would you like?” Tell people what to do. Ask them to engage, share, comment, buy. You don’t have to use those words, in particular, all you have to do is “ask”.

It’s as simple as saying, “this is a pretty basic marketing principle that can double your sales… are you using it?”

So are you?