April 26th, 2010
Ever felt that your life depended on someone saying ‘yes’?
One ‘yes’ can change the next 5, 10, 25 years of your life.
Don’t believe me?
Ever ask, “Will you marry me?”
How about: “Will you publish my book?”
Years ago, I contacted a top agent — I mean top. Within one hour of receiving my book proposal, this agent called me on the phone.
That was promising. I jumped so high that I nearly dented the ceiling with my head.
But . . .
This agent saw my marketing plan (back then) and said, “No.”
Do you know why?
One reason: I did not have leverage.
Since that time, I have sold books to 15 countries.
My audio book Be Heard and Be Trusted is on iTunes.com and emusic.com.
The next time I contact an agent [Any agents reading this? It's worth asking.]
I’m going to bring details like 15 countries and other marketing accomplishments.
Now . . . listen closely.
The hidden secret to get someone to say ‘yes’ to you is . . .
Here’s what I mean. Leverage, as I trust you know, is putting little effort in and getting a big result.
Leverage is also power.
Why would someone marry you? Because you have the power to assist that person in having a happy life. [Okay, I know there are other reasons -- but let's leave diapers out of this discussion. Oops -- too late.]
In business, to gain leverage, focus on these 3 Golden Points of Leverage:
1) your network (your contacts . . . how many people are in your esubscribers list, connected to you via LinkedIn.com, Twitter, Facebook?)
2) you have special knowledge (you’re an expert; perhaps, you know current marketing trends)
3) you have access to target markets.
So when you make a presentation in search of the golden “yes” (in business), make sure that the person gets an experience of how you have the above 3 Golden Points of Leverage.
(About experience: Harvey Mackay demonstrated how well-connected he was by showing a publisher thousands of Rolodex cards of his contacts. Okay, about the cards, this was some time ago. Harvey achieved his goal: the publisher responded by printing 100,000 copies as a first run.)
Here are two more vital parts of getting someone to say “yes” to you:
* help her first
* make it easy and fun to help you
Help her first
There’s a Law of Reciprocity which holds that when you do something for someone, that person feels a pull towards being kind to you in return (to be reciprocal in the interaction). So get things off to a good start. Help the other person first. Some big business deals started with the gift of a pen.
(Small steps can lead to big leaps . . . that’s a phrase I like sharing with audiences . . . and I enjoy it when such good things occur in my life!).
Make it Easy and Fun to Help You
When is it easy and fun to help someone? First, we like helping those people who have been kind to us. Second, some people ask easy, small favors which don’t take much time. We’re much more inclined to say ‘yes’ to that kind of request.
[Avoid asking for too much, too soon. . . . Okay, you could ask but you'd likely burn the bridge before it was fully built and had flame retardant added. Yes, I know, I'm stretching a metaphor . . .]
Finally, I want to emphasize, you can only get a “yes” — if you ask for the order . . . that is, you ask for what you want.
You might get a ‘no’ response, but you didn’t have what you wanted, anyway. And now, you have more experience. You might even ask, “Obviously, I made a mistake. What would have helped you to say yes to ______?”
Become skillful in gaining leverage and asking — and success will be your constant companion.
P.S. So to get someone to say “yes” to you, remember these 3 details:
1) help them first
2) demonstrate your leverage
3) make it easy and fun to help you
America’s Communication Coach
Author of Nothing Can Stop You This Year – free chapter at http://bit.ly/8zQywm
Truth No One Will Tell You: How to Feed Your Soul, Save a Business, or Get a Job During an Economic Crisis — free chapter at http://bit.ly/8RTRk5
Be Heard and Be Trusted, 3rd edition – free chapter at http://bit.ly/8H0rOO