Career

The Riveter Way, Lesson 6

Lesson 6: The Art of Asking – The 5 Parts of Any Great Ask

Growing your career, your business, or reaching for the next big step in your dreams requires asking for something. We know asking can be scary sometimes. It can be uncomfortable. And we can be nervous to do it. But in order to get to where we want to be, we’re going to need people’s help. Most times, that help requires an ask.

Asking can be about anything, big or small. You might need to ask for a million dollars in funding. Or you might be asking for an introduction to someone you don’t know. You might ask for a well-known person to partner on your event. Or you might ask for someone to teach you their marketing wisdom. Asks come in all forms.

Asking can be an art. However, if you know what makes a great ask great, you’ll be better able to prepare and execute. Most of what you want is on the other side of that uncomfortable ask. The more you do it, however, the easier it gets. Let’s take a look at what makes a great ask:

The Audience: Are you asking the right things of the right people? Do you have the decision-maker in front of you, and if not, what do you need in order to get to that person? You want to make sure that whomever you’re asking is the right person to ask. Do your due diligence to ensure that you’re putting your energy in the right place.

The Big Vision: By now, you’ve worked on your vision and what matters most to you, because both can help make an ask more successful. Paint the big picture of the amazing mission that you’re trying to accomplish, and why you need that person’s help. It will enroll them in understanding the part they can play in helping you get big and exciting things to happen.

The Actual Ask: It may seem obvious, but make sure you asked an actual question about exactly what you need. Be direct. Be concise. Be clear. And make sure it’s an actual question.

The Silence: Once you’ve put your ask out there, you don’t need to fill in the space. Rather, sit back and don’t say anything. Wait for them to fill in the silence. Remember, the worst they can say is no.

The Back Up Ask: If you do receive a ‘no’, be prepared with a back-up ask so you can get a smaller ‘yes’ from them. This will help to enroll them in what you’re trying to accomplish in a more micro way, and can hopefully be a stepping stone in getting your big ask accomplished in the long run. 

Asking is a practice. And you’ll only get better at asking by doing it. In this next worksheet, you’ll break down an ask that can help move your goals forward.

Download the Worksheet PDF