2016 is The Year of the Ask!

Ask for what you want and
be prepared to get it.
– Maya Angelou

Let’s consider where you are as we begin 2016.  Hopefully you had a great 2015 and you some newfound passion and our confidence. You polished your value propositions until they shone like fine silver. You built relationships, built trust, built understanding, educated, and always focused on the needs of the people who have the “yes” you want. You committed yourselves fully to their success. It’s time.

It’s time to ask for what you want.  Today.  Stop delaying and start asking.

What? You didn’t think this day would ever come? Of course it was coming. The theme of this article is that asking and selling is the common thread and the point of selling ourselves is to get what you need, want, and deserve.

Those words are especially important here because the biggest problems our “Sales Apologists” cause happen when it’s time to ask for what you want: when it’s time to ask for the order or the new project or the new job or more money or the contribution or the referral, time to ask for help answering a question or solving a problem. You get here and the Sales Apologists take over and you do what?

You don’t ask.

Asking can be tough. I’ve seen excellent professional sales men and women stumble over asking for the “yes” when it was time. I’ve done it. The Sales Apologist in us gets the upper hand. The Sales Apologist in us whispers “Maybe you don’t deserve to get this, so don’t ask.” The Sales Apologist in us taps our shoulders and says, “Selling is not a good thing and if you ask for what you want, you’ll be selling.” The sabotaging Sales Apologist in us creeps up behind our back and hisses, “What if they say ‘no’? Then what will you do?”

The most amazing thing about the fact “You don’t ask” is how common not asking for the sale is – even among the most accomplished business professionals.  We all falter at that crucial point because of the fear of what we may hear.  Let me share with you a few reasons why asking is the way to go and why it’s healthy for you to ask:

  • It’s good to have an answer. When you ask you get an answer and you know where you stand.  When you know where you stand, you know how to spend your energy and where to focus your attentions.
  • Asking is liberating. Having the confidence and courage to ask is good for the soul and good for our psyche.  It shows courage and determination to win.
  • People respect your ability to ask. It sends the message that you are engaged and present.
  • You may be surprised – in a good way. So often we don’t ask because we are convinced that we know the answer.  Stop assuming and start asking.

Take a deep breath.  Think about why you don’t ask. The make 2016 the year of the “ask”.  Watch what happens.  It will be good.



Todd Cohen, CSP is an accomplished and sought after speaker, sales culture expert and author of Everyone’s in Sales and Everyone’s in Sales; STOP Apologizing. Todd’s dynamic and motivational presentations are based on the foundation that regardless of career path or position, everyone is a salesperson. Since 1984, Todd has led sales teams to deliver more than $900 million in revenue for leading companies including Xerox and Thomson-Reuters. For more information or to book Todd Cohen for your next meeting please visit www.ToddCohen.com.

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