7 Ways to Boost Your Business Just by Asking

One of life’s fundamental truths states, “Ask and you shall receive.”

It’s simple, but it is so powerful…As adults, we seem to lose our ability to ask. But, here’s what you need to understand: The world responds to those who ask. So let’s start using that in your favor! Here are 7 big ways to boost your business using the power of asking that will help you become more profitable.

If you want to learn other ways that you can change your life, click the link and get the first two chapters of my book The Success Principles.

1. Boost Your Business by Asking for Information

To win potential new clients, you first need to know what their current challenges are, what they want to accomplish, and how they plan to do it.

Ask questions, starting with the words who, why, what, where, when and how, to obtain all the information you need. This is called the discovery process. Repeat this process until you have explored this topic as fully as you need to. So practice asking simple, direct questions. Be attentive. Listen well, and learn to read between the lines.

2. Boost Your Profits Asking for Business

Here’s an amazing statistic: After doing a complete presentation about the benefits of their product or service, more than 60% of the time salespeople never ask for the order.

If you want business, you must always ask.

Don’t waffle, or talk around it, or even worse, wait for your prospect to ask you. The point is, just ask. Also, make sure your closing question is designed to produce a “Yes” or “No” answer, unlike your earlier questions in the discovery process, where all you really want is more information.

3. Boost Your Business by Asking for Written Endorsements

Well-written, results-oriented testimonials from highly respected people are powerful.

Here’s what’s fascinating—most people in business don’t do this. That gives you a great opportunity to jump ahead of your competition. All you need to do is ask.

The best time to ask for a testimonial is any time you’ve made your customer really happy. Under these circumstances, people will be glad to praise your efforts. And if you have your smart phone with you, you can record their testimonial right then and there,

4. Boost Your Business by Asking for Top-Quality Referrals

Just about everyone in business knows the importance of referrals. However, the reality is in our experience, only one out of ten small businesses or large companies has a system for gathering referrals.

As all top businesspeople know, asking for qualified referrals is an important part of an overall marketing strategy. It’s a habit that will dramatically increase your income. Like any other habit, it requires that you do it often, and then eventually it will become easier as you do it more often.

5. Boost Your Business by Asking for More Business

This strategy might seem simple but it’s often forgotten.

Many people lose thousands of dollars in sales every year because they have nothing more to offer after the initial sale. Look for other products or services to add to your portfolio. Also, develop a system to determine when your clients will require more of your own product or service.

Remember that business grinds to a halt when you stop asking. When you consistently ask for more business, you rapidly gain momentum.

6. Boost Your Business by Asking to Renegotiate

Regular business activities include negotiation and the opportunity to renegotiate. Many people get stuck because they aren’t very good at this, but it’s another form of asking that can save you a lot of time and money.

All sorts of contracts can be re-negotiated simply by asking. As long as you do it ethically and in the spirit of win-win, you can enjoy a lot of flexibility. Nothing is ever cast in stone. If your situation requires change, ask for it.

7. Boost Your Business by Asking for Feedback

This is another important component of asking that is often overlooked. How do you really know if your product or service is meeting the needs of your clients and customers?

Ask them!

Set up regular customer surveys that ask good questions, and include the tough questions. You could even consider a monthly focus group where you can meet your customers face-to-face.

If you supervise a team of people or run a large organization, ask the people you work with for ideas.

No matter what type of industry you work in, you’re surrounded by people who can give you valuable feedback. All you need to do is ask.

The 5 Secrets to Successful Asking

The first stumbling block for most people is knowing how to ask. Here are five tips to improve the way you ask, so you achieve results:

1. Ask Clearly

Vague or fuzzy questions confuse listeners, making it difficult for them to provide the information or help you desire.

Be precise in your asking. Think clearly about your request, and take time to prepare. Use a notepad to pick words that have the greatest impact. Words are powerful, so choose them carefully. For example, if you throw the “How am I doing?” question out without specifics, it may take time for the other person to understand what you’re talking about.

Instead, try “How is my attitude toward customers? Do you see room for improvement? Where?”

2. Ask With Confidence

People who ask confidently get more than those who are hesitant and uncertain. When you’ve figured out what you want to ask for, do it with certainty, boldness, and confidence. Practice in the mirror if you have to, or write out your question in advance.

Try to have an open mind and heart when receiving a response. (It’s normal and okay to feel intimidated by the experience, but don’t show it.)

Be prepared to hear the unexpected or unwanted. Don’t get defensive if you hear something you don’t like or that makes you uncomfortable. It’s good to get a little uneasy once in a while upon the observations or insights of others.

They will inspire you to stop, reflect, and take steps to make a shift for the better.

3. Ask Consistently

Top producers know that they can’t quit if they ask once and don’t get a good response.

In prospecting, for example, there are usually four or five “no’s” before you get a “yes.” If the approach you’re using doesn’t seem to be working, try a different way of asking and keep asking until you find the answers you want.

For example, if you find a co-worker is reluctant to offer an opinion when you seek feedback about your performance on an important team project, you can ask another team member who is more receptive to the question, or rephrase how you are asking the question and try again. Because people don’t normally go around asking others for opinions on how well they are doing, it’s not a question typically heard.

So be prepared to ask over and over again before you hear a clear—useful—answer.

4. Ask Creatively

In this age of global competition, your asking may get lost in the crowd, unheard by the decision-makers you hope to reach. The way around this is to ask in an unusual way. Use your creativity to dream up a high-impact presentation.

Bear in mind that asking someone to stop and evaluate you can seem awkward or time-consuming. Show respect for them first and find the ideal time to ask the question.

Here’s one way to engage the insights of a superior: “I highly value your opinion and honest perspective, and would love to know what you think I could be doing differently on a daily basis that would make your life easier and make our clients happier.”

5. Ask Sincerely

When you really need help, people will respond. Sincerity means dropping the image facade and being willing to be vulnerable. Tell it the way it is, lumps and all. Don’t worry if your presentation isn’t perfect; ask from your heart. Keep it simple and people will open up to you.

Like speaking a different language, asking takes continual practice until it becomes a regular, reflexive habit.

The sooner you build your Ask Muscle, the sooner you’ll see results you’ve been waiting and searching for.

Remember that asking does not relate only to work-related goals and tasks.

Bring this practice home with you to enrich your relationships with your family members, and your friends. You’ll be surprised and delighted at what you discover about yourself in this process – and at the greater results and satisfaction you’ll gain in all areas of your life.

Who Can You Get Feedback From Right Now?

Keeping these 7 strategies to increase your business by asking in mind, I want to leave you with a bit of homework to complete after you’re done reading this article.

  1. Write down 3 areas and 3 people that you can get feedback from.
  2. Then write down what you will ask them for feedback about, and exactly how you plan to ask them.
  3. Ask them!

Get the First 2 Chapters of my Book “The Success Principles” 

If you want to learn how to lay the foundation for a more joyful abundant life, click the button below to get the first two chapters of my book, The Success Principles for free. Learning these will help you set clearer goals and help you produce outcomes the YOU want to experience.

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Comments

  1. Sean Nisil says:

    Thanks for including How to Ask along with What to Ask. Great insights here!

  2. Nguyễn Giang says:

    thank you so much, it’s very great and useful !

  3. Great advice, if you don’t ask, you don’t get! I especially agree with asking sincerely, I find people respond most when you are most genuine, which may mean making yourself vulnerable at the same time. Thank you!

  4. […] by Jack Canfield and provided here with his consent.   The article is a sub article focused on improving business just by asking but I thought this element on how to improve your “asking” skills was particularly […]

  5. Anju Hyolmo says:

    “Sincerity means dropping the image facade and being willing to be vulnerable.” I simply love this article. Dhanyabaad (Thank You) !

  6. Andrian says:

    Hi Jack,

    I’m Andrian. And I’m a self-published author.

    I’m really inspired by your article of asking. And actually, I did this advice immediately the moment I read about it. And I’m still waiting for a response. :)

    By the way, Jack, as a part of promoting my book, just would like to ask, Jack, if you’d be able to help me out and make a written endorsements and testimonials on my one book? :) It’s actually a Christian book, and it delves on Personal Development and Positive Thinking.
    I’d love to give you a free copy of it, Jack, and your love and support,is always highly appreciated. :)

    Looking forward to hear from you, Jack. :)
    Have a Wonderful Day. :)

    Andrian

    1. Hi Adrian! Way to ask for what you want. Check out this link: http://jackcanfield.com/contact-us/ — there is an area for you to submit materials for review/testimony. Look forward to hearing from you.

      1. Andrian says:

        Hi Jack,

        I just sent a message on the link above, Jack. It’s under “website feedback” category. (however, nothing there that I can attach a file or document, that’s why I just sent the link to my book, Jack.) Hope you’re able to read it, Jack.. :) Or no worries, I would just repeat my message below that I’ve put on the link above.Here it is:

        Thank you so much for inspiring me with your work, Jack. Actually, I have your book “Chicken Soup for the Soul”, and “The Success Principles”.. and I’ve been more inspired by you because of my mentor (John Calub), #1 Success Coach here in the Philippines. He’s also my mentor here..and sometimes I introduce him with his seminars.. and you are the reason, Jack, why he became successful.. He always includes you in his seminars, always telling how you met here in Manila, and how you changed his life, in a very mysterious way.. :) Praise GOD.. :) You are truly amazing, Jack. :)

        Ahm, by the way, Jack, I just message because I wanna ask for your help.
        My background, Jack, is that I’m a self-published author.
        And as a part of promoting my book, just would like to ask, Jack, if you’d be able to help me out and make a written endorsements and testimonials on my one book on Amazon. Here’s the link: https://www.amazon.com/Power-Positive-Energy-Self-Improvement-Self-Esteem-ebook/dp/B01APCOKEY .. (I was supposed to give you a free copy via PDF, Jack, however, there’s nothing in there that I can attach a file.) I would be very grateful for your written endorsements, Jack. :) If ever, Jack, please, you can send me an email here for your written endorsements, Jack, at andrian_teodoro12@yahoo.com.ph .
        I would really appreciate your kindness, love and support, Jack. :)
        And I’m really looking forward to hear from you, Jack. :)

        Have a Wonderful Day, Jack. :)
        Blessings.. ^_^

        Andrian Teodoro

  7. Samuel McNeill says:

    I have been reading, doing, being, envisioning for 10 years now. My life has rocketed into places I never dreamed of!!!

    NOT. I think some people have a stronger antena than others. Mine has been beat down all my life. It will take a miracle to reprogram my mind at this point. What else can I do???

    1. Kristin_Fraser says:

      Start a disciplined yoga practice in the morning…. Morning breathwork for about 20 minutes where you say… I am ready to let go now. Let go of the “b-s story” and move forwards as the new you. I have a similar story and that was what has actually worked for me. You have to do the strong inner work. <3 All my best

      1. Very true, Kristin. You definitely have to start with the strong inner work.

      2. Samuel McNeill says:

        For years I would give myself 30 min of quiet time in the morning. Time to pick that dicipline back up again. Thanks for your advice.

    2. Samuel, if you are convinced that your antenna is beat-down and that it will take a miracle to reprogram your mind, then that’s how it will be. Remember: visualizations and affirmations work for both positive and negative thinking. If you think about the fact that you can’t do something, then you won’t be able to do it. If you think of yourself as being able to do something, then eventually you’ll be able to.

      1. Samuel McNeill says:

        I’m starting over, going to give it another go. I think I need to make an effort to find a mentor this time. Thanks for the reply.

        1. You’re welcome! I’m excited for your transformation.

          1. Doc MacIan says:

            Samuel,
            I am a neuro-muscular specialist and both a psychotherapist and clinical hypnotherapist. One thing I discovered is that the whole “beat down-I need a miracle” self talk comes with a hair trigger over time. It is that “walking on eggshells, waiting for ….fill in your big bad here…”

            I find being interested, not judgemental or down on me, down in the universe, but Interested in what is happening and what you are saying to yourself without getting attached. This for some people takes a bit of training and a bit of time, but the second you have the experience of “How interesting” things change completely.

            Allow me to tell you a story. When I was first developing this technique, I had a woman going through one of those horrible, vicious divorces. She had learned about some of her triggers (things that set her off emotionally), but how to identify them by her physical reactions. Also how she lashed out at her husband when he pushed one.

            She came in one week and the other women in the group asked her how the divorce was going. She became very silent and said something had changed during the week. She mentioned how her husband knew ALL her Triggers and pushed them every time they talked.

            The women said, “So they didn’t go off this time?” and she said, “No, they went off like gangbusters, but I was so interested watching them go off and noticing at how really good my husband was a pushing them, I forgot to react. After a few days, he just stopped pushing them. Then 2 days ago he invited me out to dinner. He even held my chair. It felt like an alien might have possessed him.” (There is much more to this but….)

            Two weeks later, he fired his lawyer and booked an island vacation. She hadn’t really changed anything. He told her he would not fight the divorce. He had been a real jerk and she deserved everything and probably more. Apparently then he broke down and cried. She found the guy she’d fallen in love with all those years ago.

            All the anger and resentment built up during their marriage just fell away and they were back to the way they had been their first year dating in college.

            So, you start on something (and honestly I love affirmations, but think they are about as useful as a plastic Jesus on my dashboard, while ignoring my Brake Warning light), you will find at some point something happens and you go…here we go again…or whatever your “Thing” is. What you can do right at that moment is look inside and notice the physical sensation.

            Don’t fix it. Don’t beat yourself up. Just notice it. Be interested. Notice the self talk and how you have had this same conversation with yurself hundreds or thousands of times.

            I worked as an independent contractor for the SBA in the 70s helping women start businesses. This grew out of my training female executives for some of the big internationals based in NYC. Business and success is almost always a step of steps.

            Many people don’t write them down and feel overwhelmed. Others hit a snag, throw up their hands and declare, “God-the universe hates me, or I am not good enough” and abandon ship.

            I recommend> Isn’t that interesting? Now what is the next step?

            If the step does not work, OK go look and see could you try it a different way or with a different person.

            For a short period, I taught men to meet women (yeah one of those guys, I know, it was me wanting to learn about the psychology of confidence). Most men had this same self talk and when a woman turned him down, took it personally. Again, I taught them to be interested in her reaction and his own reaction and use that as a conservation piece. Give up on getting a date, just spend a few minutes talking. Often things completely turned around.

            Great ideas are really wonderful, but I have seen some very mediocre ideas done persistently and really well win and great ideas “Not Written Down” fail completely.

            hypnoregression.org

            There are some useful hypnotic sessions up there for free. Go see what your brain and body say afterwards.

            Best to you
            Doc

        2. Ardyss Life says:

          Hi Samuel,
          As Jack Canfield said, what you believe in becomes your reality. I understand where you are coming from and I have done tapping (EFT aka emotional freedom technic) to get over some of the thinking I carried around since childhood. Also, the use of paraliminals has helped me to get rid of many programings that are no longer serving me.

          1. Samuel McNeill says:

            I have been researching and trying tapping out. Also this is the first I have heard of paraliminals. I like it. Thanks

          2. Ardyss Life says:

            Tou are welcome! I am glad you like it. For paraliminals, you could try learningstrategies.com where you could get individual ones or a bundle. There is also a support community of people you could talk to. Also, Jack offers a mentoring program through the success principles where you could get a coach for one year to help you get out of your own way. I could help you out if need be. I live in Canada.

          3. Samuel McNeill says:

            I would like to take you up on that help. How can I contact you?

          4. Ardyss Life says:

            You could email me at info.casce@gmail.com or call me at 1647.608.2226.

        3. Now THAT’S the attitude to have if you want things to change. You are very welcome :)

          1. Samuel McNeill says:

            Any advice on how to go about finding a mentor? It seems like a some mythical thing that just happens to people. :)

          2. Hi Samuel – great question. Finding a great mentor is sort of an organic process, so it’s tough for me to offer specific advice about how to find the right one for you. Here’s what I can offer, as a start. Participate in my 10-Day Transformation to get yourself moving in the right direction: http://jackcanfield.com/transformation/

          3. Samuel McNeill says:

            Thanks Jack’s admin. I’m on day eight of the ten day course!

  8. Ajit Lokhande says:

    Hi,
    I want to start own my business to help small businesses to grow up in my area.
    How can I help them to achieve their target by providing them business strategies, marketing solutions, promotion ideas, digital marketing for their business.

    For this, what practices I must do before I start actual their work?
    Please suggest me some basic tasks and market/business understanding tips.

    1. Hi Ajit, It’s hard for me to offer you advice about a starting place when I’m not entirely sure of the type of experience you have in the field. If you are very experienced, I would begin by compiling and organizing all of your best business/marketing practices, so they are easily understood by someone who has very little experience, and then work from there.

      If you are not experienced in business growth and development, I suggest doing as much learning as you possibly can and then apply what you learn to your own consulting business before offering it as a service to others. You’ll need proof of success in order to sell your services and the best way to get that is to show your own success rate with your own business. I hope that helps clarify your next steps. Good luck!

  9. Mauricio Ferrari says:

    I’m afraid to ask because I’m afraid of what I’ll hear. I’ll try. Thank you.

    1. Mauricio – I understand that fear. I struggled with it for many years until I realized one very important thing: If I never ask, I’ll never know. The worst thing anyone can say is ‘no.’ That’s it., that’s absolutely the worst case scenario. And even then, if they say ‘no,’ you’re in the same position you were in before you asked. Try to remember that next time you are feeling afraid.

  10. Pam Garcy says:

    Thank you for the reminder to keep asking, Jack. While I continue to work through my own asking-fears prior to inviting people to my weekend coaching retreats, it helps me to do two things: make it a game (gather 9 no’s) and focus on the benefit to the person I’m inviting (service focus). I’ve also noticed that the universe delivers benefits to me when I engage in asking, regardless of the no. For example, it can remind an ex-client that I’m here if they need a booster meeting.

    1. A wonderful lesson to be learned through the task of asking, Pam! It seems so simple, doesn’t it? Asking for the things you want. Congratulations on taking that step in your business – I’m excited to see what comes of it.

      1. Pam Garcy says:

        Thank you : )