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The Art Of Asking

Yesterday morning, I got a Facebook message to my beauty business asking for a free gift voucher for a ‘worthwhile’ cause – a local school fete I think.

I get a lot of these and we do give up to £2,500 a year to similar requests through our community scheme. But, it was less of an ask, and more of a “who shall I paste my message to next“. It didn’t make me feel very special, warm or giving.

On my lunch break, walking through the town, I saw a stand for Prostate Cancer. From around 10 metres away, the ‘chugger’ saw me – a 48-year-old perfect target market specimen – and without a pause said (loudly enough to travel the now 8-metre distance), “have you got a minute mate?“.

I shook my head slowly as a walked past shouting in my head, you’re not my mate, mate!

Transaction Effort

If you are asking for something from someone else, you’re entering into a transaction, a form of negotiation; even if it is with another person’s internal dialogue.

You have to assume up-front they will be asking… what’s in it for me?

It doesn’t matter…

  • If you are a business asking for an enquiry online.
  • A social media user posting stuff YOU think is amazing to make yourself look good.
  • A charity trying to attract interest in their cause.
  • A local sports club selling sponsorship.

If you don’t put in the effort in the way you ask, why should anyone bother responding?