How To Ask For What You Want In Business

How To Ask For What You Want In Business

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:

“Hi Jan,

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.

16 Comments

  1. Connie Curtis on April 22, 2015 at 10:56 am

    I want to let you know what I do. I coach people newly diagnosed with gluten intolerance and food allergies to guide them into switching their lifestyle to gluten free. My question is this I contacted a big influencer in my community with many followers. I followed the advice of sharing her blog/podcast cast. i got some great information from and how I have been following her for a while because of my own food allergies and living with gluten intolerance. I asked her how I could help her?I wanted to start a relationship with her.

    I got an email back asking me what I could help her in. I suggested a few things but it was hard to come up with things that I could do for her? Can you write a post that would give some examples of this or do you cover this topic?I got some from my coach. I emailed her.

    She then emailed me back asking if I knew a certain doctor. No context around why she was asking this. Just one sentence in the email. I told her I did and I was one of his patients. He is part of the reason I have gotten well.

    I never from her again.. This experience hasn’t enrolled me in reaching out to her again.



  2. Amanda on April 22, 2015 at 12:01 pm

    It is so hard to reach out you get way more no’s then yes’s. I like the advice of put your request out there without attachment.

    It’s really hard to follow and create relationships with as many people as it seems you need to finally get that one yes! Am I doing this wrong?



  3. Shauna Sanders on April 22, 2015 at 12:25 pm

    Great content (as always) and I love that I actually just implemented this with YOU recently! And, it worked! I offered you my volunteer services and pretty much did all of the above steps (before this video) and the outcome was positive! I especially agree with the “don’t be attached to the outcome” so as to not put pressure on either party. Thanks Nathalie!



  4. Lucy on April 22, 2015 at 12:40 pm

    I so needed this post today! Thank you! I spent the morning angering over how to ask for a guest post because I HATE asking other people for favours. Thank you for making it seem possible and genuine.
    PS I signed up for the list building challenge earlier today so looking forward to the results that brings!



  5. Kellie Frazier on April 22, 2015 at 3:53 pm

    Hi Nathalie!

    GREAT INFORMATION!! Yes, I used caps AND shouted it because I want others to know what you’ve taught me has been invaluable. I used your script (above) with total confidence and got invited to interview on the radio station I wanted. Not only that, but your list-building course has allowed me to create a 21-Day Challenge for my own community (I used yours as my example) PLUS I grew one of my lists by 400%! You are amazingly clever and an precise teacher that I’m very grateful for. <3 Kellie



  6. Liz Brazier on April 23, 2015 at 2:04 pm

    Nathalie, Thanks for the reminder re following up, And leading with how to offer value. I loved your Jen and tomato example as well :-)



  7. Bernard Charles on April 24, 2015 at 9:51 am

    I got a request from someone a little more prominent in the community than me and when I followed up on their request they asked and I answered, but I haven’t heard back! SO for their sake I will follow up just because I respect them and their brand regardless. I don’t like lingering awkward attachments.



  8. Patricia on April 24, 2015 at 10:25 am

    Nathalie, these are really great tips! I think the relationship part is so important – too many people try to bypass that before asking for things. The follow up advice is good too! Sometimes we just don’t know what’s going on behind the scenes (sometimes people just forget).

    Thanks for the excellent reminders!



  9. Muhammed Abdullahi Tosin on April 24, 2015 at 4:47 pm

    Hey Nathalie!

    The tips in this post are quite actionable. #1 especially resonates with me. I once bet my entire business on one affiliate partnership, and I lost big time. Now, I diversify everything from my traffic sources and relationships to my VA, income streams and clients.

    I like how that diversification makes me sleep well at night :-)

    Thanks also for mentioning relationships and creating value for people first. I wish many bloggers out there would just realize that and stop being jerks.



  10. David mark on April 30, 2015 at 7:35 am

    Hello Nathalie! Thank for this wonderful info, you are right about Building a relationships before you ask for anything. A relationships will help to connect with new people.



  11. Lara Dalch on April 30, 2015 at 7:49 pm

    It’s funny… I learned the “don’t get attached” bit working in ad sales marketing for many years. We created and pitched far more proposals than were accepted – it’s just part of the ad game.

    But when it comes to me and MY business, I’m as timid as the next person in asking for what I want!

    Thanks for the kick in the pants to get over it and just ASK already! :)



    • Nathalie Lussier on May 1, 2015 at 2:54 pm

      Yessss Lara! Funny how it’s easy when it’s not for ourselves or our own business, huh? :)



  12. Marsha on May 4, 2015 at 12:22 pm

    This is a timely post, Nathalie. I like your point on asking what’s in it for them and presenting a great value proposition. That almost always get the request granted.



  13. Fernando Lopes on May 15, 2015 at 11:37 pm

    “4. MAKE THEM AN OFFER THEY CAN’T REFUSE.” – Awsome hahaha =)

    Thanks for sharing those tips, i’m sure it will help A LOT of people out there (myself included).

    75% of times I fail in this Step 4…



  14. Richard Paek on August 18, 2015 at 3:20 am

    Following the advice on this list has resulted in me getting at least a 20% response rate when it comes to my outreach marketing. Like you said, always offer a ton of value and try to help others before asking for something yourself.It generally creates a relationship with positive energy and mutual respect.



  15. Jamie on September 4, 2015 at 5:52 pm

    I love these tips Nathalie.

    All too often I find people don’t bother to build a relationship or offer something of value before asking for you to do something for them.