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Do you ever have trouble asking for what you want?

“The ask” may be one of the most important, yet most unpolished skills of our professional and interpersonal relationships.

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 maintains that asking for things properly is a game-changer in career advancement and is essential for managing up – simply making the boss’s life easier.

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, and often have very different outcomes.

Baker’s Asking Formula is grounded in common sense and is easy to learn. 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.

Develop the three 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. “I’m asking for this marketing spend to drive your growth goals.”

Stop talking. Once you’ve stated your request, be quiet. This demonstrates gravitas and conviction, and also prevents looping or qualifying. Just let the decision-maker absorb the ask and think about it.

Aside from having an impact on sales performance, it can also help the rest of an organization by instilling a culture of productive and forthright communications. People get to the point faster. And get things done faster.

Have a great week.

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