Asking for a job, a raise, a sale, or other big decisions can be intimidating. Here’s a proven way to ask for anything, and up your odds of receiving it.
Do you ever have trouble asking for what you want? And when you don’t ask, isn’t it frustrating?
“The ask” may be one of the most important, yet most unpolished skills of our professional and interpersonal relationships. Sure, we all know how to come right out and ask for something, but doing it, and doing it well, are two very different things, with very different outcomes.
John Baker is the author of the book “The Asking Formula” and has developed a whole curriculum on how to ask for things persuasively and effectively.
Baker’s Asking Formula is grounded in common sense and is easy to learn and repeat with a little practice. Here are the highlights:
- Know what you want. Be bold, be specific, be clear, and only focus on one thing at a time.
- Ask for what you want. Start with “I’m asking for…” and then state your desired outcome.
- Show what you want. Provide a visual of what success looks like via whiteboard, photo or chart. Increased sales, speed, expense reduction, etc. All are good to illustrate.
- Critical Step: Develop the 3 best reasons. This is the most important component of all. You must tie the ask back to reasons that are important to the decision-maker.
- Stop talking. This demonstrates gravitas and conviction, and also prevents looping or qualifying. Just let the decision-maker absorb the ask and think about it.
- Share your data, only if questioned. Lead with the need and the best reasons. Only refer to detailed data if asked about.
Aside from the the obvious impact Baker’s approach can have on sales performance and team dynamics, it can also help the rest of an organization by instilling a culture of productive and forthright communications that provokes action and gets things done.
Have a great week.
Sign up for The Sunday Snippet!
Good ideas to help you prosper delivered fresh each Sunday morning.