It has been my experience that developing the skill of appropriately asking for what you want will lead you to professional and personal success. Is that all there is to it, though? Does it always come down to just asking and receiving?
The answer is Yes and No. YES, it usually comes down to the person who is willing to ask and NO that is not all there is to it. This is a skill and like any skill, there are ways to develop and become better at it. This article will outline the 5 steps to focus on to hone the skill of “asking for what you want”.
Step 1 – Develop a clear picture of WHAT you want.
If you don’t know what you want you will be spinning your wheels and getting nowhere. Personally, I have been challenged by this because I have a big imagination and I am a bit of a dreamer so every idea seems viable. Yet when I force myself to get serious about one idea I have been amazed at the results.
Step 2 – Understand WHY you want it.
Things rarely just land in your lap. To achieve great things you have to work really hard and often endure through difficult situations. Knowing why you want something will help you to keep going when it gets really hard. The reason why has to be greater than the pain of getting what you want.
Step 3 – Identify WHO you should ask.
Once you have a clear picture of what you want and why you want it the next step is to identify who you need to talk to. The Queen of England, Prime Minister of Canada, or the President of the United States all have the power to give you what you want but is that the best person to approach? Of course not and it would be ridiculous to even try to approach someone in such a high station about something like getting a raise or reaching sales quota. I use this hyperbole to illustrate a point because it is just as ridiculous to approach a low-level employee about a major purchasing decision and yet salespeople do it all the time.
Step 4 – Understand WHEN you should ask.
When it comes right down to it this may be the most important step in the process. If you blurt out your request at the wrong time you may get a hard NO from someone who really wants to give you a YES. Timing is very important. This has been a weakness for me. When I really want something I often get very excited about it and that combination of ambition and excitement can cause you to have bad timing. Be patient and learn to read the decision maker to assess when it is appropriate to ask for what you want.
Step 5 – Develop HOW you ask.
“Will you marry me?” This question asked for the right reasons, to the right person, at the right time can be one of the most precious moments in two people’s life. Now if you both love hockey then having it put on the jumbotron at your team’s game might be perfection in the eyes of your bride-to-be. On the other hand, it might be how you would do it but not how your bride-to-be would want to be asked. You might still get a YES but don’t you want it to be a memory for both of you?
In a sales situation, getting the sale with a high-pressure close may land you an order once but wouldn’t you rather ask for the sale in a way that makes it possible to get repeat business from your customer? The most professional technique to close any sale is by using the low-pressure silent close. You ask for the sale and then remain silent and simply offer a warm smile. This may feel uncomfortable for you but the prospect often appreciates the opportunity to simply think for a moment before giving you their answer.
These steps can be applied in both your professional and personal life. Take time to hone the important skill of “asking for what you want”. Thank you for reading this article, if you think this article could help someone else please share it on your social networks to help me grow my audience.
(See how waiting to the end of this article to ask for that applied the 5 steps?)