How to Ask for What You Want … and Get it! Article by: Mark Victor Hansen
One of life’s fundamental truths states: Ask and you shall receive. Isn’t that simple? Of course it is. The world responds to those who ask. Most people in this world, however, find themselves in settled lives, never really achieving or receiving what they hold in their dreams … because they just never ask.
The truth is, when you take control of your life by asking for what you want and need, you can accomplish anything your heart desires. No doubt, you know of people who seem to walk into any situation and any relationship expecting success. They achieve success again and again because they’ve learned â€” and acted on â€” one simple truth: You will reach your goals only with the help of others.
Here are seven ways to ensure that your asking gets results.
1. Ask with confidence.
If you ask with confidence, you will get more than those who are hesitant and uncertain. A confident state of mind will affect everything else: your body posture, eye contact, tone of voice, and choice of words. Confidence, however, does not mean being brash, arrogant, or conceited. When you’ve figured out what you want to ask for, do it with certainty, boldness, and confidence. The only downside is that your request may be denied. You are in no worse position than before, and it simply means that you need to look for another route for results.
2. Ask clearly.
Be precise. Think clearly about your request. Take time to prepare. Use a notepad to pick words that have the greatest impact. Words are powerful, so choose them carefully. Ask for what you want, not for what you don’t want. At the same time, be careful what you ask for. More often than not, you get exactly what you’ve requested!
3. Ask someone who can give it to you.
Before you ask someone for something, make an assessment of whether or not that person will be able to give it to you. Some people are very qualified and motivated to help. Others just aren’t capable of delivering. Watch people and review that capacity. Do you know that this person is capable of delivering what you’re about to ask him or her, or are you just hoping the potential is there?
4. Ask consistently.
Some people fold after making one timid request. And they quit too soon. Keep asking until you find the answers. In sales, for example, there are usually four or five no’s before you get a yes. Top producers understand this. When you find a way to ask that works, keep on using it.
5. Ask creatively and with humor.
Humor captures our attention and breaks down our defenses. Creativity disarms our resistance and opens our minds to new possibilities. In this age of global competition, your asking may get lost in the crowd, unheard by the decision makers you hope to reach. There is a way around this. If you want someone’s attention, don’t send an ordinary email, fax, or letter. Use your creativity to dream up a high-impact introduction. You may not want to go so far as the saleswoman who sent a chief buyer a homing pigeon with her card attached to one leg, and on the card she had written, “If you want to know more about our product, just throw our representative out the window.” Think of what you could do to create a powerful impact with your most important prospects and don’t be surprised when those impenetrable doors swing wide open to welcome you in.
6. Remember: You must give something to get something.
As Zig Ziglar says, “You can get everything in life you want if you will just help enough other people get what they want.” When you’re asking, always be sure to explain how the other party will benefit and win because they’ve acted positively on your request.
7. Ask sincerely.
You can have anything you want if you want it desperately enough! Keep that unbridled passion for your purpose, project, or goal stirring in your mind as you begin to ask. When you truly need help, people will respond. Sincerity involves showing a willingness to be vulnerable. Tell it the way it is, lumps and all. Don’t worry if your presentation isn’t perfect; ask from your heart. Keep it simple and honest, and people will open up to you. Maintain eye contact throughout the entire asking process. This further demonstrates your integrity, trustworthiness, and passion for the subject.
You can turn your life around, regardless of the obstacles you currently face. Get clear. Get passionate. Take a giant step past that fear. And if at first you don’t succeed, take this minor setback as a signal to you … to ask again!