Most of us ask for things all the time… | by Wes Kao 🏛

Wes Kao 🏛


3 months ago

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Most of us ask for things all the time… But we don’t think about why the other person would say yes. How to get buy-in from anyone:

You need buy-in for crucial moments & in daily work: • Getting a warm intro • Pitching your idea • Applying for a job • Closing a sale Notice how these are all situations where the person COULD say yes… Or they could ignore you, which is a polite way to say no. :]

Let’s invert the problem. Why do people say no? They say no because they don't see how a situation is beneficial to them. You wouldn’t do something if there's no upside for you. Too often, when you write or speak to others, you're only thinking of why an idea is good for you.

This is the most important time to position why an idea is good for THEM. The truth is, a lot of your requests--for customers, leads, or cross-functional team members--are probably a bit selfish. This is normal.

To counteract your default "me"-centric viewpoint, you have to actively and consciously choose to see things from the other person's point of view. Then use those insights to frame your idea.

To increase the chance of getting a yes: 1) Write the ask 2) Highlight parts that benefit you 3) Highlight parts that benefit the other person You may be surprised how much of your note is self-serving. The key is to edit so the final version is ~90% about the other person.

For example, here’s a cover letter I edited for a friend. 🟨 = about themselves (bad) 🟩 = about the other person (good) After the exercise, they were shocked at the page full of yellow highlights. Their pitch email was entirely about themselves!

Bottom line: If you can't think of why it would be rational for them to give you an enthusiastic yes... Go back to the drawing board. Be glad you caught yourself before hitting send because you still have time to improve how you frame your idea.

Right now, you probably have a situation where you are hoping for a yes. You’re going to have to ask for it. Show people what they gain, not what you gain. Give them a reason to say yes to you. Give it a shot and let me know how it goes.

PS While you’re here… There are 100+ courses on @MavenHQ starting soon on topics like career growth, leadership, writing, and more. Check it out:

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