What Is Your ASK?

Published on February 19, 2019

One of the biggest issues that prevent people from achieving their goals is a lack of clarity on their ASK. I encounter this problem all the time, and its impact is profound.

For example, a sales exec calls me and asks how to handle a call with a new exec on the buyer side. The first thing I ask is, “What is your ASK”?  The answer usually is: “I educate the buyer on what we can do for them.” But that doesn’t answer my question, because that is not their ASK. When the goal is to educate the customer, you will conduct the call in ways that will not hold the customer’s attention—and the results will be less than you desire.

If you start your conversations with the “how”—the services you can offer—it will lead to a longer sales cycle. Instead, start with the “what”—the purpose, or the outcomes you want to produce. You need to be clear about the purpose of the call and the next steps that you want the client to agree to. This will dictate the actions you need to take in the call.

Here are some scenarios and sample ASKs that you can use to help you figure out your ASK for whatever situation you are dealing with:

  • Meeting with a new decision-maker: The ASK is to find out their strategic intent, what they are being tasked with, and to identify situations you both agree to work on going forward.
  • Meeting with a new prospect: The ASK is to find out where the company is going and their strategic initiatives, and to agree on areas to work on going forward.
  • Prospecting emails: The ASK is to get the customer to call you, not to sell them on the whole solution. What emotions can you generate on outcomes to get someone to call you?
  • Voicemails: The ASK is to get them to return your call, not to sell yourself. What can you say to get someone motivated enough to take their valuable time to call you?
  • Coaching meeting with an employee: The ASK is to discover what the employee’s career goals are, to outline areas of strengths and weaknesses, and to have the employee help identify three things they are committed to working on.

The ASK dictates your actions and improves your chances of achieving the desired results by carrying out the right actions. Use these examples as a launching point for your own. Without a clear ASK in your mind, you will most likely engage in actions that will not support your purpose, causing you to lose velocity and fall short of your goals. 

Here’s my ASK: Do you want to create more value and opportunities while shortening your sales cycle? If so, please call us at 201-666-7599.