The majority of the population has a hard time asking for things, even from those whom they’ve helped. For some, the idea of it is downright terrifying. But if you are going to succeed in launching a product or service, you’ll have to get over your fears and learn how to ASK.
I recently received a very common question from a reader, Adam Franklin. Adam is one of our top partners in multiple launches and one of my favorite people in online marketing. You should definitely follow him on his blog.
The #1 thing I struggle with is the “ask” — especially when I ask people to support me.
I am totally fine supporting other people’s launches, as you’ve probably noticed. And I’ve spent the last 18 months, forming and strengthening relationships on this basis. It’s easy because it’s GIVING.
But…when I try to recruit JV partners to support my material, that makes me a bit uncomfortable because I feel it more as TAKING. I know it’s meant to be win-win etc… but there’s discomfort.
The Fear of Asking
I know this feeling all too well.
It’s that feeling of dread while your cursor hovers over the SEND button.
It’s the negative voice that asks what the other person will think of you.
It’s the fear of damaging a relationship or appearing needy.
And sometimes it’s just the discomfort that Adam mentions when making an ask of someone.
I get it. I really do. Granted, I’ve made a living out of asking others for stuff. I used to work in sales and now I ask people to promote launches. It might seem like second nature, but it’s far from that.
That’s why I follow a simple formula. The ASK formula.
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The ASK Formula
There are three things you must do in order to make an effective ask. When I follow this basic formula, it almost always works.
When I don’t follow all three, my “pitch” is rarely successful.
Here are the three parts of the ASK Formula:
A – Assume a Positive Response
Your success with any request starts in your mind.
No, this isn’t pseudo-psychology. This is real world stuff.
Think about asking someone out on a date. If you go into it with the mindset that the other person will say “no,” you’ve pretty much determined the outcome already. Your lack of confidence shows.
It shows up in posture, in your voice, in your facial expressions, and in the language you use. Your confidence level even shows up in email.
Go into an ask assuming a positive response. Tell yourself why a person WILL say yes, not the possible reasons they will say no.
This does not guarantee success. But going into it with the wrong mindset DOES guarantee failure.
S – Show Them the Benefit
Anytime you approach someone about promoting your product, you must show the benefit to the other person. The benefit to you is implied (you sell more stuff).
But what is the benefit to them? It could be any or all of the following as starters:
- Providing their audience with valuable content.
- Opportunity to join other big names on the leaderboard and connect with them.
- Filling a hole in your product offerings.
- A chance to join other big names as a mastermind as a prize.
- Revenue in the form of commissions (without having to create a product).
The possible benefits are endless and specific to each person. Take the time to think of the specific benefits that your target partner will get from being a part of your launch.
RELATED POST: How to Warm up Your Affiliates Before a Launch
K – Know Their Audience and Their Needs
The last letter might be the most important. In order to make an effective ask for a potential partner, you must know their audience (demographic and psychographic) and what they need to be successful (tools and help from you).
You should be able to clearly and accurately describe:
- Who their audience is
- What their problems are
- How your product addresses those problems
- Why they should buy from you
When you address their audience’s needs, you make it clear that your promotion is serving their audience. It’s a no-brainer.
You should also know the following:
- How they typically promote launches (i.e. do they do video, long form emails, images in the emails, etc.)
- What tools they need to promote effectively (i.e. sales copy specifically for a target audience)
- What motivates them (Is it competition or money? Serving their audience or leaderboard prestige?)
You learn these by observing and asking.
Notice what they do when they promote other launches. Notice when they mail, how often they mail, what they send out. Observe their promotional habits and tendencies. In short, you should know their playbook better than they do.
Then you ask what motivates them. Ask them what is important to them.
And you use all of this information to make an effective ASK.
That’s how you overcome the fear of asking. That’s how your recruit an army of awesome partners.
What strategies have you used to ask others to promote you?
RELATED POST: Make the Impossible Ask and Get Out of Your Comfort Zone