When you want to ask for something big, it can take a tonne of courage before you even contemplate approaching someone with what you want. For some people, this comes naturally. For others, it can take weeks – even months – to psyche yourself to do it.
Motivational speakers often say that you simply need to put yourself on the line, grit your teeth and ask for what you want. While that’s true, if you’re not careful, you could do yourself a disservice. I recently saw an example of this and wrote this post for my Enterprise column.
You only have one chance to make a first impression. It’s an old saying but it’s true. I recently went to a networking function where most of the people in the room were successful business owners. The function was a cocktail party and the dress code specified the same. The event was intimate enough that there was an opportunity for the 50 or so people in the room to individually introduce themselves and their business. Nothing out of the ordinary so far.
Then a woman got up to introduce herself. She said that the founder of the business she worked for wasn’t able to attend and he sent her – the marketing manager – in his place. The woman was lovely, polite and friendly. She was also wearing jeans and a jumper that looked like she’d taken it from a Vinnie’s clothing bin. Her introductory spiel included the following line: “We’re also looking to raise about $400,000 over the next couple of months in our next round of funding so I’m looking for anyone who’s keen to be an investor.”
I wasn’t quite sure whether I could believe my ears. It either takes a hell of a lot of guts, chutzpah or stupidity to walk into a room full of strangers and ask them for $400,000 within 30 seconds of opening your mouth.
To give her credit, if you don’t ask, you don’t get.
But a successful “ask” takes more than just having the courage to ask for the ridiculous. It also requires planning, respect, relationships and, often, a “give” in return. So what should you do if you have a big “ask”?
You can read the rest of the post here.