Let’s face it: business is all about relationships and connecting with other people. These people are your clients, your peers, and your greatest asset. Think of them as allies.
But what if you’re not sure how to connect with the people who can help you move your business forward?
How do you introduce yourself when you’re not “a somebody” yet… and when you want to ask for something like publishing a guest post or an interview?
Here’s how to get started.
How To Ask For What You Want In Business
1. Ask and don’t be attached to the outcome.
If you’re betting your entire business on one interview, mention, or affiliate partnership… then you’re setting yourself up to lose. And the person that you’re making a request to is going to feel your energy if you’re desperate, so clear any attachment cobwebs before you make your ask.
If you keep it light and you’re open to any outcome (yes or no) then it takes the pressure off to make the ask perfectly, and the other person to give in if it’s not in the best interest of everyone involved.
2. Build relationships before you ask for anything.
The best way to get something, whether it’s a speaking spot, a press mention, or a sale, is to build a relationship first. You can get strategic about who you want to build relationships with, and people certainly do that, but you can also go where you feel the friendship and the pull.
Doing business with people you like is way easier, and it tends to yield better results for everyone involved.
When you’re building these relationships and introducing yourself to new people, focus on them and providing value in any way that comes naturally for you.
3. What’s in it for them.
Ideally you’d want to have built a good relationship with someone for awhile before you ask for anything… but when you do, you’ll want to think about what’s in it for them.
Are they getting a free piece of quality content, exposure to your audience, or something else in return? Put yourself in their shoes before you…
4. Make them an offer they can’t refuse.
This is the “pitch” part of asking… You can ask in an email, a quick phone call, or by carrier pigeon, too.
Keep your message short and to the point, and consider how it’ll land with your recipient. If they’re busy or they have someone else handling inquiries, make sure to account for that in your communication, too.
Here’s a sample pitch email for a podcast interview:
Like I’ve said before, I’m a huge fan of your work and was just listening to your podcast episode about growing tomatoes. I wanted to see if you were up for interviewing me about worm composting, because I know you haven’t covered that on your show before and I’m sure your audience would learn a lot.
Either way, I’m always sharing your latest episodes with my audience and I’d be happy to collaborate on an episode if it sounds fun!”
5. Ask clearly, and follow up politely if you don’t hear back.
After you hit send, you’re probably going to hit refresh on your inbox a dozen times… (No, just me?)
But if you don’t hear back from a request in a week or two, it’s probably a good idea to follow up. Sometimes people go on vacation, declare email bankruptcy, or just plain get busy.
Your follow up can be short and sweet, and you can reference your first message, but make sure you don’t put new pressure – keep it light and watch what happens.
What are your tips for asking for what you want in business?
I can’t wait to hear about your ability to ask for what you want in business… and how much it’s going to improve when you start practicing!
Leave a comment below and let us know what your best tips are for asking and getting what you want.