Do you have the guts to ask for what you want?


One of my Mastermind partners, Pat Schuler of Kick Butt Sales Training, sometimes asks her clients, “Do you really want to rely on hope as a business development strategy?”


She’s got a point. Too many entrepreneurs simply cross their fingers and hope for good results, or wish that prospects and clients would behave a certain way.

Now, I fully believe that focusing on and clearly visualizing the outcomes you want to experience is a powerful, if non-traditional, business-development tool. On the other hand, all the visualizing in the world is unlikely to do you much good unless you also get yourself off the couch and take some action to create those outcomes in the here and now.

You gotta choose.One of the most underused strategies for creating a thriving business is one that’s actually pretty simple to implement – if you’re gutsy enough to do it.

Ask for what you want.

Why does this seemingly simple approach require a fair dose of courage? Because if you ask questions…

Wow. Sounds like nothing but good times, doesn’t it?

So you might be wondering what would make asking questions worth the risk of dealing with this type of aggravation. Fortunately, the potential gain is so substantial that focusing on it will make it easier for you to ignore the potential discomfort.


Asking the right questions can make the difference between surviving and thriving.

There’s almost no limit to the number of areas about which you can gather useful information by asking smart, gutsy questions. For example, you can get hard data on:

You get the idea.

It’s been said that, when diagnosing a physical illness, asking the right questions is at least half the battle in getting a proper diagnosis. The same is true when it comes to diagnosing where your business is languishing. And as important as it is to be clear in your own mind what you have to offer, there’s something else to be clear on that’s even more vital for your business’ survival and thrival (Is that a word? I guess it is now.)

What do your ideal clients think, need, and perceive?

If you’re willing to risk possible surprise and chagrin, you just may find out how to change what you offer and how you offer it, so that your products and services become totally irresistible to the clients you most want to work with. This is directly related to another reason why knowing how and being willing to ask powerful questions is a great business-development strategy.


Asking questions shows you where to make needed course corrections.

Just as relying on hope and wishful thinking doesn’t make much sense as a business strategy, neither does guessing what’s important enough to your ideal clients for them to be willing to invest their hard-earned money to get it.

So don’t guess. Ask.

Again, you may be somewhat dismayed if it turns out what you’re offering is less valuable than you think it is. On the other hand, this type of feedback is priceless. It enables you to shift resources (time, energy, money) away from low-payoff activities, products, and services, and into those products and services that your clients are hungry for.

And if, instead, you get confirmation that what you’re providing is perceived as immensely valuable, you’ve also gotten permission to consider raising your rates for new clients.


Courage + focus + effective business development = success.


Asking questions can make it easy to get people to do your work for you.

In today’s social-media-soaked world, recommendations and reviews from satisfied clients are becoming an ever-more powerful marketing tool for entrepreneurs. So when you’ve dazzled a client, ask them for a glowing testimonial. You’ll be adding a mighty resource to your marketing tool chest.

I promised in last week’s post to share a method of asking for referrals that I’ve found to be highly effective and pretty painless for everyone. Here it is.


Asking questions will spur your creativity.

Choose to ask creative questions.Let’s face it: Sometimes our thoughts can be pretty muddled. But being faced with the need to give your business a shot in the arm is a great motivator for developing a clear focus. And asking smart questions is a great way to clarify your thinking.

What’s especially interesting about this, in my opinion, is that the questions you have to ask yourself are at least as crucial as the questions you’ll ask other people.

Your creativity comes into play when you get to determine (a) what you need to find out, (b) who you need to find out from, and (c) how to find it out. Here are some questions to get you jump-started; which of them are appropriate for your situation?


And since I’m in such a question-asking mode, here are a few more:  Have you given up wishing for what you want and have chosen instead to ask for it? How’s that working for you? What have you accomplished that you wouldn’t have accomplished had you merely sat back and hoped for the best?

Or do you have so many thoughts ping-ponging around in your brain that you can’t imagine coming up with clear, confident, powerful questions of any sort? If that’s the case, perhaps I can help.

I specialize in showing overwhelmed entrepreneurs how to toss aside what’s getting in their way so they can concentrate on business-building activities that make sense for them. While I’m confident that I’m very good at what I do, I can’t be confident in saying whether you and I would make a great team or a horrible one.

Not, that is, unless we have a chance to get acquainted.

That’s easy to do, and it’s risk-free for both of us. It simply involves setting up a 30- to 40-minute call during which we can both ask and answer some questions. At the end of that brief time, we’ll know whether to go our separate ways or to start rocking.

If that sounds like a smart investment of time, just call me at 319-270-1214 or email me with “I have some questions…” in the subject line. We’ll set up that no-charge, no-risk phone call and see what’s what.

(By the way, thanks to Scott McLeod for the question-mark cookies and Beatnik Photos for the neon question marks.  I found both in the Creative Commons section of Flickr.)

This entry was posted in business development and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

9 Responses to Do you have the guts to ask for what you want?

  1. Pingback: Make it easy for prospects to choose you. | Stepping Into Big

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

— Web design by wizzy wig design Minneapolis MN —