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IMG_4401 In yesterday's MentorCloud blog entry on "Funding Professional Conference Travel", several suggestions required asking for money. I know how hard this can be - yet it is often key to professional success. In the 2010 article "Ask for the Sale!", Peggy Carlaw writes:

A mentor once told me that she never buys from someone who doesn’t ask for the sale. It was an off-the-cuff remark, but it turned into a powerful lesson for me. At the time, I was just learning how to make sales calls—and how to overcome the associated nervousness.... Asking for the sale represents a pivotal moment in the relationship between buyer and seller.... asking for the sale shifts the ownership of the situation to the buyer and empowers her or him with the responsibility to say yes or to give a good reason for saying “no.”

Whether you are selling a product, or asking for startup funding, travel support, project sponsorship, advice, or a mentoring relationship, it is necessary to... ask! Your second most important (and difficult) action after asking is for you to be quiet. Or, as to says in the 2012 blog title "Asked for the Sale? Now Shut Up!":

By keeping mum, the client has time to process the information and clearly make a decision without you prompting them toward an answer. If they answer with a “yes,” great! You made a sale! If they respond with a “no,” that’s okay too. Find out what their concerns are with the purchase so that you can address those items and save the sale by coming from another direction.

Practice these steps before a mirror if you need to:

  1. Give your pitch.
  2. Ask for what you want.
  3. Stop talking and wait for a reply.

You will be surprised at how often and well this simple process works.

Image Copyright 2012 by Katy Dickinson