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Don't Ask Don't Get

Last updated May 14, 2014

When I am coaching a business, this is my third most used phrase. The first is "businesses go bust because they run out of cash" and the second is "business would be easy without customers and staff". But the "don't ask don't get" phrase can be the difference between added success and staying just where you are.

What's to lose?

You weren't going to get it if you didn't ask, so if you do ask you might get it!

What's the worst that can happen? They say no - that's all!

You might find it difficult to ask; the fear of rejection but you have to get over that part. Just remember that the worst that can happen is they say no. If fear gets in the way you'll never save money or earn more money. So here are my tips:

1. Ask with a smile

2. Ask with confidence

3. Ask with fairness - don't ask for something totally unreasonable

4. Ask often

5. Ask everyone

So what prompted this post? I came across Noah Kagan Coffee Challenge Interesting concept from the viewpoint of learning how to handle rejection. My take is slightly different; its about getting used to asking. Most sales people fail because they don't ask for the business, they aren't practised in how to ask. This coffee challenge is great for practising lots of different asking tactics.

I met a colleague today at an event where the coffee was fairly priced but it was dreadful - I'd had a cup before my colleague arrived! He offered to buy, I suggested he asked for 2 cups for £4 - they were priced at £2.20 each. His answer was no its OK but I wanted to see if it would work. In I jumped and a minute later we were drinking our £2 cup of coffee! He was surprised at me - but I was surprised at him too - I thought that the coffee challenge would be right up his street - perhaps next time!

After he left I popped back to the coffee stand - could I push a little further? This time coffee and a muffin - total price list price £4.20. This time I joked with barista about getting the discount before - he remembered me - perhaps I was the only one at the business show that had tried the coffee challenge. He laughed too and when I gave him the right money he gave me 20p change. I didn't even have to ask.

So my advice is do the coffee challenge just as Noah describes until you succeed; then try out different types of asks and see what works best for you. As your confidence builds you'll find you are saving money or making more money or you are getting some help from some great people.

1. Ask for a referral or introduction - we do this via Linked In everyday, try it in person.

2. Ask for likes or shares on social media platforms; there are lots of people already doing it so don't get left behind.

3. Ask for help - but be fair and don't take advantage. No, you can't pick my brains for free is an excellent post by Adrienne Graham for Forbes.

4. Ask for discounts - as Noah proved; some Starbucks say yes!

Just one word of caution; if you ask you might be asked for something in return. The barista today asked what I could do for him - fair exchange is no robbery! Learn to be prepared with questions and answers.

shirley-mansfield-CoachSME
Shirley Mansfield
Master Business Problem Solver

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