Man can never thrive alone. We all need each other, even the independent ones. In our lives, we’ve all had to ask something of someone at one point or another.
In my post, how to become a person of influence I stated that persons of influence usually ask and have their request granted because of the influence they command. We can also say that confidence and fame can get a person anything, or not.
Every entrepreneur knows that business survives not only on resources, but people; people who would invest, sponsor, mentor or people to form partnership with. A lot of business are failing today because business owners cannot convince banks to loan them money neither can they convince sponsor or investors to invest in their businesses or convince clients to buy from them.
This post came out of the need to share my little experience of the little things I learnt when I needed money to start my business. I needed a sponsor, but nobody was buying into my idea. I was turned down many times, until I discovered I was asking the wrong way. I was making the same mistakes I made years before.
When I was in secondary school, I could say I was quite popular amongst my mates. I was president of the press club, the library prefect, I read news every Thursday morning, I was in the drama club and I also was the lead spokesperson for the debating club. But once I asked the Chapel prefect, a friend of mine to let me take the Sunday reading in church the next Sunday. She said it was fine, only for me to see her the next Saturday prepping someone else. When I accosted her, she said she forgot I had asked. Later she admitted she didn’t know I was serious. Popularity didn’t get me anywhere.
In the book Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe, we see Okonkwo’s father Unoka had gained a bad reputation for himself. He was infamous for being irresponsible, effeminate and wasteful. He also had a massive list of unpaid debts. The funny thing is, everyone knew him, yet he could still get people to loan him money despite his reputation. What did he do right that we are doing wrong today?
Here are some tips to help you get what you want.
1. Always ask for something worthy.
If you are a student, it would be so much easier to get money for school fees than for new clothes. That is because school fees seems much important than new clothes. Make sure what you want is of significant value. Don’t just call up favors for trivial things.
2. Ask like you mean it
If you do not take yourself seriously, how do you expect the next person to? Don’t ask for anything carelessly. Ask like you mean it. If you ask indifferently, you’ll receive similar response and sooner or later your request is forgotten. Ask with expectations.
3. Ask confidently
Do not fear rejection. There is no legal crime committed when you ask for a favour. Have a bold, straight-forward approach to asking. You have nothing to lose.
4. Ask clearly and be specific
You might have a ton of problems, but when you meet a particular person for assistance you have a specific thing in mind you think he/she can help you solve. And that is the only matter you must present on the table. Go specifically to the problem and state your request clearly. Don’t assume they know what you want and do not waste their time beating around the bush. Some people keep going round in circles about what they want like that man at the pool of Bathesda. But not everyone is lucky to have a patient Jesus at their disposal.
5. Ask passionately
Let the person see your need. Remember blind Bartimaeus? He kept shouting and making his requests till Jesus sent for him. He refused to be hushed by the people around him. I see him as a good example on how to ask. He possessed all the above qualities.