How To Ask For What You Want

I live by the philosophy of why pay for something when you can get it for free? After all, it’s not what we make that’s important, it’s what we keep that matters. Over the years, I’ve received over $100K of free stuff. How did I do it? I asked for it.

You Don’t Ask, You Don’t Get

The first rule to getting what you want is to ask for it. However, most people don’t do this. You don’t ask, you don’t get. I guess for many people, it’s better not to ask than it is to ask and get rejected. If you ask and get rejected, you’re not worst off than before. I don’t like getting rejected either but that’s no excuse for not asking.

I used that mentality during IZEA Fast when I asked Neil Patel for a Macbook Air. He asked why I needed one and I explained to him that it would be for my wife. She has a 17″ laptop and I was tired of carrying that around during our trips. He thought for a few seconds and then said, “OK.” You don’t ask, you don’t get.

Do not let the possibility of rejection prevent you from asking for what you want. Have you ever seen a super hot girl with an average looking guy and wondered how the hell he pulled that off? Chances are he was the only one who asked her out because everyone else was too scared to.

The most common sales and marketing mistake is not asking for the sale. The sale rep can do every other step right but the customer will walk out the door because the rep forgot to ask for the sale. Like a guy asking a girl out, many people in sales are scared to ask for the sale and as a result, ends up with no sale.

Asking for what you want is just the first step. The second step is figuring out the best way to ask.

How To Ask The Right Way

A while back, a couple of friends wanted to attend Ad Tech San Francisco but didn’t want to pay the nearly $2,000 it takes to get a full conference pass. Since both friends ran blogs, I told them to email Ad Tech for a press pass. The friend with the bigger blog applied and was rejected. The friend with the smaller blog got approved within an hour of sending the email.

Why was the bigger blog rejected and the smaller blog approved? The answer becomes clear once you read the emails each site wrote. Here is an excerpt from the bigger blog.

I was hoping I could receive a free press pass to the San Francisco Ad:tech conference. I am a web entrepreneur and blogger, and would be covering the event from my popular blog which has an RSS readership of over 1,400.

It will be my first conference ever attended, so I am a bit unsure as to how the process for press passes goes. Would I be correct so assume that it would be equivalent to the Full Conference Pass?

And here is an excerpt from the smaller blog.

Hello this is [insert name] from [insert blog] and I need a press pass to cover Ad:Tech. I was notified by ValueClick and Google about your show. They said we should check it out.

Our site covers [Insert fluff here]. See you in San Francisco.

The bigger blog made several mistakes. The first mistake was he wasn’t sure of himself. Instead of saying, “I need a press pass,” he was “hoping” he could receive one. His other mistakes were saying his blog was “personal” and admitting he was a trade show newbie.

It’s All About Posture and Control

In the PR business, perception is everything and service will always go to the site or blog that the PR rep perceived as better for the show. If you come across as unsure of yourself or on the verge of begging, you can bet your bottom dollar you won’t be getting an invite. The last thing a PR rep wants to deal with is an inexperienced newbie at her show.

It’s all about posture and control. If you wanted to be treated like a somebody, then you have act like a somebody. While it might seem the best way to go about asking for something is to be really nice about it, in real life, being nice usually puts you in last place. This is not to say that you should be a mean bitch. That would be stupid. What it does mean is you should project an image of good posture and control.

When I want something, I assume the position that I am going to get it. Instead of asking, can you, would you or could you, I like to say I require, send it to, put the following names on the party list. People like to see confidences. It’s a natural magnate. An email that display it will always be put in front of an email that is timid.