Episode 16 – How To Ask For What You Want

Hello and welcome to the show.  Today we are going to be talking about the skill of asking for what you want.  Now if you have this skill and have no qualms about asking for what you want, to whoever you want, whenever you want, well let’s just say you can hop, skip and jump right over this episode because this one is all about asking. ASK! ASK! ASK!   We’ll be moving on from a previous step of taking action, and ONE of those actions that is really important is “asking.”  So today we’re going to do some work around that.

The history of the world is cram-packed full of examples of rags to riches stories of people that have just asked and asked and asked for what they wanted and have acquired amazing successes because of it.

Yet astoundingly, asking is still a major challenge to most people even though it is one of the most important principles in my step by step process to getting what you want.  It still holds many people back when they could be just a question away from achieving their goal, think of it that way.  By not asking, you are depriving yourself of the information, the assistance, the support, the money and time that you need to fulfill your vision and make your dreams come true.

But why are you so afraid to ask?  You are afraid of how you will look, you will look needy, look stupid, look foolish, but mostly you are afraid of experiencing rejection. You’re just afraid of hearing the word NO.  What’s happening is that by not asking and worrying about all that stuff, you are actually rejecting yourself in advance.  You’re actually saying no to yourself before anyone else has the chance to!

Don’t assume you are going to get a no.  Think about it, if you get a no, you were no worse off than when you started.  If they say yes, great!  Just by being willing to ask, you can a room with an ocean view, you can get a discount, you can get a date, you can get an earlier delivery date, you can get some time off or even get the kids to help you with some housework.

I’ve got some quick tips on how to ask for what you want:

  1. Ask as if you expect to get it.  Like it’s a done deal.  Ask from a place that you have already received it.  Always ask as if you expect to get a yes.

2.  Assume that you can get what you want. Don’t start with the assumptions that you can’t get what you’re asking for.  If you are going to assume anything, assume that you are going get that successful person to mentor you, or assume that you are going to get that upgrade.  Assume you are going to get that job, assume that you are going to get those concert tickets at such a late stage.

3.  Ask someone who can give it to you.  You need to qualify the person you will be asking.  You will ask questions like, “Who would I have to speak to get……” (fill in the blank)

“Who is authorised to make a decision about……”

“What would have to happen for me to get…..”

4.  Make sure you are clear and specific. Vague requests only produce vague results, so make sure you ask how much, by when, how long, a specific description of exactly what you want.

If you say to someone you want to spend more time with them this weekend, be more specific than that, and say that you would like to go to the Football Game on Saturday at the MCG and dinner afterward at a particular restaurant, then ask, what would work for you?  So when it comes to WHEN you want something done, don’t say “soon” or “whenever” it’s convenient.  Make sure you give a specific date and time.

5.  Ask repeatedly. Persistence is so important when it comes to asking, and not giving up.  There will be times when you will be asking others to participate in the fulfillment of your goals, and they will say no. And that’s fine.  They may have other commitments, priorities, or many other reasons not to assist you, and what you need to remember is that it is not a reflection on you.  That’s really important.  Get used to the idea that you are going to get rejection along the way to your goal.  But here’s a really important point, DON’T GIVE UP, that’s the key. 

When someone says no, you just keep on asking. Why should you do this? Because when you keep on asking – even the same person again, and again – you might just eventually get a yes!….  It might be on a different day, they might be in a better mood, you might have learned to close better, you might have new information to present to them not only that you’ve proven your commitment to them and they will respect your tenacity in consistently asking them for what you want.

Kids do it all the time, think about it!  My grandchildren will come up and ask me for something over and over and over again without any hesitation!  But of-course kids eventually wear us down don’t they, and we give them what they want just to stop the nagging right?  There are so many stories out there of people asking the same question to one person until they get a yes.

For example, someone asking someone to marry them over and over again until they say yes, I’ve actually got a friend who wanted to work for a particular organisation and went back three times before they accepted her, they obviously thought, wow she’s committed, persistent and tenacious, I think we need her in our company!  So just assume eventually you’re going to get a yes, it’s the law of probability!

There was a study done at the Notre Dame University in the States by Herbert True, at this stage I haven’t been able to find stats for Australia, but this is what he found.

He said that 44% of all salespeople quit trying to sell to a prospect after the first call, 24% quit after the second call, 14% quit after the third call, and 12% quit trying to sell their prospect after the fourth call.  So this means that 94% of all the salespeople surveyed quit by the fourth call.  But 60% of all the sales are made AFTER the fourth call! This is such a revealing statistic because it shows that 94% of all those salespeople don’t give themselves a chance at the 60% of the prospective buyers.  Please know that you have the capacity but you also have the tenacity! 


how to ask for what you want


To be successful, make sure you ask, ask, ask, you have to become an “askhole”…..

You have absolutely nothing to lose but absolutely everything to gain by asking.  You may need to take some risks and one of those risks is the willingness to risk rejection.

We do a great exercise in my workshops where I get my participants to think of something they want to ask of someone. Then they go and ask each participant in turn until they get a yes. 

The feedback is uplifting after they have completed the exercise because they feel they now feel more confident in asking and not worrying about getting a no.

Obviously, there are rules and guidelines on how this exercise works which I won’t go into now, but you get the idea of actually asking someone and feeling the feeling of asking and getting the reply, instead of just thinking about it and just thinking you will get a no.

So, start asking today, take the time now and sit down and make a list of things that you want and that you don’t ask for at home, or at work or even at school!  In the next column write down how you stop yourself from asking. 

What is your fear? 

Now I want you to write down what it is costing you not to ask.  Then this is the good part, write down what benefit you would get if you WERE to ask.

Remember in Episode 3 called “What do you really want?” when I mentioned the seven-goal categories?  Well, I now want you to write down a list of what you need to ask for in those seven areas, financial, job and career, fun time and recreation, health and fitness, relationships, personal projects and hobbies, and contribution to the larger community.

So do you need to ask for a loan, capital to start up a new business, a referral, time off to get some additional training in the field you want to get into, ask to borrow the car, if you’re a teenager you might want to ask your mum if you can spend the weekend with your friends, or you might want to ask someone to mind your children for the evening.

There’s a girl called Markita Andrews who sold 2135 boxes of Girl Scout Cookies in her first year as a Brownie.  She is in the Guinness Book of Records now for selling over 31,000 boxes of Girl Scout Cookies in her career. 

At one point, she wrote a book called “How to sell more Cookies, Condos, Cadillacs, Computers and anything else that starts with the letter “C”.  She went to an event where she received an award at the Radio City Music Hall. She was speaking to all the people who sold over a million dollars worth of insurance in their commissions, the Million Dollar Round Table.

That day at the end of her talk she said, “All of you sitting out there, there is 3×5 card under your seat I would like you to pick it up.”

So they all picked it up.  She said: “Write a number between 5 and 10.”  So they wrote a number between 5 and 10.  Then she said:

“As you leave today, that’s the number of boxes of Girl Scout Cookies I want you to buy from me in the lobby on the way out.” 

That day she sold 7500 boxes of Girl Scout Cookies. 

Because she asked, because she asked.  People have a difficult time saying no, and when you have something to offer someone that is valuable, they want to participate.

Whatever it is, just ask, your life won’t change if you get that no, you’re still in the same position you were before you asked the question. So just move on to the next one.

So get out there and start asking. 

Ask a brave question, go and ask that person that question you have always been wanting to ask them, make a bold request of somebody, of something you want, so don’t put off asking any longer. 

It is important that you be practicing brave asking in your life, making brave requests, and asking for feedback and asking for support.

Whatever it is that you’re not asking for now, take this opportunity right now in the next 24 hours to implement this into your own life, because once you start you get better and better at it, and you’ll wonder why you didn’t do it before and you’ll also realise that is was easier than you thought it would be.

I hope this has helped you understand the skill of asking and that you will use this principle in your daily life and look at it in a whole different light.

You can do it!

Thanks for listening week after week, I hope you’re getting a lot out of it.  I would love to hear your stories of any breakthroughs you’ve had. If you’re loving these episodes please share it with your friends and subscribe so I can get it into as many earholes as possible.

For more information you can go to yourroadtosuccesspodcast.com.au to get some free resources you can download as well up looking up my upcoming events and learning a little more about me.

I’m going to leave you with a little funny quote today.

“I love asking kids what they want to be when they grow up because I’m still looking for ideas.”

That’s it from me, I’m looking forward to talking to you next week when I’ll be telling you that “Rejection is a Myth”

Have a brave, supportive and successful week full of asking!

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