Asking for money, or anything else for that matter, can be stressful. And you may not hear as many yeses as you want because you aren’t asking, and that is keeping you from raising more money, getting more engagement from your board, finding that new event sponsor…anything you want.
So, before you ask for anything, ask yourself these three questions and you will be more likely get what you want.
What is my intended outcome for this ask?
Be clear on what you want to receive.
What is the next best step?
Understand what the next step is to getting to yes. If it is a smaller commitment or deal, you may want the next best step to be a decision in the initial conversation. A larger deal or commitment might need a few more steps. Do you want a followup meeting, or an intro to a decision-maker? Whatever it is, be clear about what you want to have happen next.
Am I okay with any outcome?
Before you start a conversation with an intended outcome, you want to release the outcome. Yes, that might be confusing since I just said to have an outcome in mind. But, you want to be able to be unattached to the outcome, even if it something you really want. Because the less attached you are, the more likely you are to get what you want.
THE LESS YOU ARE ATTACHED TO HAVING SOMETHING, THE MORE LIKELY YOU ARE TO GET IT.
There’s two reasons for this.
First, it allows you to listen deeply to the other person, lean into their objections and be open to new ideas or opportunities beyond your intended outcome.
Second, people can smell desperation. Ninety percent of communication is nonverbal, and our intuition, energy or Spidey senses are keen to pick up anything you are throwing down. Even if your words say, “Whatever you decide is ok,” but your brain is saying, “OMG please say yes, I need this gift,” then people will pick up on that. They might not even be conscious of it, but they will feel the pressure.
Trust that you are going to be okay, no matter what. Actually, you already are okay. And so is the other person. And if it is not a good fit for what you want, that just moves you faster to someone who is.
The more you let go of what you want, the more you will get it.
When I invite someone to work with me, I say, and I mean it, “Whatever you decide is ok.” Even if the person is someone I would love to work with, I give them the opportunity to choose what is best for them. Because I know I will be okay and they will too. I can hold space for wanting something, and then hold space for being unattached to whether I get it or not.
Bottom line is: the more you can release the need to control the situation with pitching, selling or convincing, and bring an air of detachment, the more likely people will enroll in your idea.
Pretty cool, huh?
Maryanne is Founder and Chief Excitement Officer of Courageous Communication. She works with nonprofits to grow their influence and leadership so they can be more productive, powerful & persuasive and stop being rejected, ineffective or pushy. She is author of Courageous Communication: how codependence is making your nonprofit brand boring and what to do about it, creator of Up Level Your Influence training for individuals and organizations and host of The Influential Nonprofit podcast.