The secret to getting more of what you want lies in two questions that you must ask yourself.
- “How does what I’m asking for benefit the other person?”
- “How can I help the other person achieve what they want with what I want?”
It’s that simple. Ask those questions before making your ask. Then follow through with figuring out how to help the other person with your ask. If you can’t make the connection to how your ask can help the other person, then don’t make the ask.
I.e. You’re working on a new show—TV, film, fashion, whatever. You need big press to cover the event. Part of the profit proceeds of your show is going to cancer research. You reach out to the health & wellness editor at the NY Times. Because of your thorough research on Twitter, Wikipedia, and some Facebook stalking ( ;) ) you know that the editor runs in a cancer marathon every year and has a soft spot for funding cancer research. You mention that when you ask her to do a write up about your show in the weekend health & wellness section of the Times.
This procedure works in the selling of insurance, sponsorships, shares in a new venture, and networking.
Be as specific with your ask and with the kind of help you’ll be providing the other person. Be generous. Give a little more than you anticipate getting and don’t keep score. Be succinct with your ask too. Long winded explanations are hard to hear and the old adage “Ain’t nobody got time for that” comes into play.
Get more of what you want by being thoughtful and giving. Pass on that secret ingredient to everyone you meet.