Ask World’s Most Powerful Neglected Secret
Last weekend, my family and I went to the Low Key Piano Bar for a lovely holiday sing-a-long to help gather presents to help make Christmas more delightful for the disadvantaged. My grandson, Flynn, at just 3 years of age utilized the most powerful and neglected secret to success and happiness. He asked to play the piano.
At the sing-a-long, the children were able to get up on stage to sing and dance. Flynn went up to the piano player and asked if he could play with him. Mike said, “Sure, come on and play with me.” Flynn was the only child who asked. I am sure there were many that would have enjoyed playing the piano. As a result, you can see the confidence beaming from him as he touches the ivories.
When Flynn sees the picture he says, “That’s me playing the piano at Uncle Ben’s place.”
This incident reminded me of an excerpt in the book by Jack Canfield, The Success Principles. Jack was talking about a workshop of his. At the workshop, Jack holds up a $100.00 bill. He asks the crowd what they would do to get that $100.00 bill. Finally, someone walks up and asks if he could have it. He gives it to him. Just like the participant at the workshop, Flynn did nothing more than ask.
Percy Ross, self-made multimillionaire and philanthropist said, “You’ve got to ask. Asking is, in my opinion, the world’s most powerful and neglected secret to success and happiness.”
Why People Are Afraid to Ask
Why are people so afraid to ask? Similarly, they are afraid of many things such as looking needy, looking foolish, and looking stupid. But mostly they’re afraid of experiencing rejection. They are afraid of hearing the word no.
The sad thing is that they’re actually rejecting themselves in advance. They’re saying no to themselves before anyone else even has a chance to.
In other words, many women in my office find it unbelievable how scared men were when it came to asking women for a date. A woman once said, “You reject yourself before you even give us a chance to. Take the risk. We might say yes.”
How to Ask For What You Want
Ask as if you expect to get it and expect a yes. And, ask from the place that you have already been given it.
- Assume you can. Assume you can get an upgrade. For instance, you can get a table by the window. Similarly, you can get a scholarship, that you can get a raise, and you can get tickets at this late date. Don’t assume against yourself.
- Ask someone who can give it to you. In other words, qualify the person, “Who would I have to speak to in order to get…” Who is authorized to make a decision about…” What would have to happen for me to get…”
- Be clear and specific. Vague requests produce vague results. Your request need to be specific. For example, when it comes to money, you need to ask for a specific amount. And, when it comes to when you want something done, give a specific date and time. In addition, if it comes to a behavioral request, be specific. Say exactly what you want the person to do.
- Ask repeatedly. One of the most important principles of success is persistence, not giving up. In addition, we need to get used to the idea that there’s going to be a lot of rejection along the way. The key is not to give up. In conclusion, when someone says no, you keep on asking. Why? You might just get a yes.
A Telling Statistic
Herbert True, a marketing specialist at Notre Dame University, found that
- 44% of all salespeople quit trying after the first call
- 24% quit after the second call
- 14% quit after the third call
- 12% quit trying to sell their prospect after the fourth call
This means that 94% of all salespeople quit after the fourth call. But 60% of all sales are made after the fourth call. This revealing statistic shows that 94% of all salespeople don’t give themselves a chance at 60% of the prospective buyers.
You may have the capacity, but you also have to have the tenacity! To be successful, you have to ask, ask, ask, ask ask!
You Have Nothing to Lose and Everything to Gain by Asking
To be successful, you have to take risks, and one of the risks is the willingness to risk rejection. Take time now to make a list of the things that you want that you don’t ask for at home, school, or work. Next to each one, write down how you stop yourself from asking. What is your fear? Next, write down what it is costing you not to ask. Then write down what benefit you would get if you were to ask.
Take time now to make a list of what you need to ask for in each of the following seven goal categories: financial, career, fun time and recreation, health, relationships, personal projects and hobbies, and contribution to the area community. This might include a raise, a loan, seed money, feedback about your performance, a referral, an endorsement, time off to get additional training, someone to babysit your children, a massage, a hug, or helps with a volunteer project.
Whatever it is, don’t be afraid to ask. It costs nothing to ask, and may cost you plenty if you don’t ask. You will never know, unless you ask. And just like Flynn, you don’t want to miss out on the beaming results of asking.