I watched a nature film about jaguars. It showed a male ardently pursuing a reluctant female. The animator explained how her reluctance was part of their mating dance. Males prove “worthiness” by being ardent – that is - enthusiastic, incessant and passionate. Non-stop, the mating dance went on for two days and nights.

The male must have asked that female jaguar for her favours some 10,000 times before she finally relented. He nudged her, and tweaked, butted, shoved or generally made a pest of himself for hours. I even heard him whine like a plaintive nerd.

I kept watching and looking for my “
lesson from the jungle…” when it suddenly struck me: That wildcat was obeying a Spiritual Law: “Ask and ye shall receive.” That is more than a Bible quote, it’s an adjunct to the law of movement: Action/Reaction. And it really does work!

Then I realized: One of the most obvious and yet most neglected things we do when trying to attract new business is
to just keep asking. Keep asking for an appointment. Keep asking for the order. Keep asking: Deal or No deal? So many people won't ask. They'd like the business but fear: “If I ask – I’ll be rejected.”

I’ll tell them -
Please stop being so selfish! Kindly giver others the right to say no. Don’t deny them the opportunity of telling you that they are not interested. And remember that if you don’t give them good reasons to say yes, it will be no! So do give potential customers all the reasons why they should buy into your ideas!

If there’s one thing I’ve learned over the years it's this - When asking for something, you'll almost certainly get positive results if you use the following guidelines:
  1. Know what you are asking and to whom. Be crystal clear about your intent and keep it at the front of your mind. Stay focused on exactly what it is that you want.
  2. Keep things simple and get to the point. It drives people nuts when others beat around the bush. Be direct. Let them know exactly what you want. They’ll respect you for it.
  3. Make sure there is something in it for them. The key to winning negotiations is supplying the WIIFM, the “…what’s in it for me?” You'll discover that most people respond positively to win-win-win scenarios. Take care to phrase your idea so it tells about the benefits: “I’d like 15 minutes of your time to explain how I’ve helped companies like yours.” Or - “I’d like to meet with you and this is what you’ll gain from it.” Or even - “I'd like you to consider my proposal because of the value you’ll get from it.”
  4. Rehearse your approach. This is what separates the winners from also-rans. Plan what you are going to ask for and how you’ll do it. Try to imagine what the other might object to. And then think of answers to each objection. Practice asking out loud, if you need to, in front of a mirror or into a tape recorder.
  5. Give others time to respond. Did you know that, on average we only wait 9/10ths of a second before jumping in with a comment or another question? Ask - then shut up and wait.
  6. Be prepared to ask more than once. Believe it or not, the majority of sales are made after a client has been asked 5 times. I don’t mean you should be a pest - but do be creative. What are the alternatives if a client says “No!” What is your plan B?
Do you want an appointment and the opportunity to make your pitch? Start asking and don’t stop until you’re told: “No - I do not want the benefits of what you have to offer me!”

As usual, lead from your heart – i.e.
from a genuine desire to serve – and then push ahead. If we don’t have a good reason to listen, we won’t. Give people every reason why they should be interested in what you have to say ...and let the creative Spirit decide which one will click. Develop a calm, confident and pleasant attitude and people will appreciate your persistence as well as your advice.