Excerpted from “Chapter One” “Just Ask the Right Questions to Get What You Want” with the permission of the author – Professor Ian Cooper
All too often the things that we want most appear beyond our reach so we don’t ask. The trick is to realise that other people frequently think the same as you! The more attractive something is, the fewer the people there will be who have the personal courage to ask for it.
I have encountered many situations in both my business and personal life, where because something is perceived to be either ‘big’ or ‘important’ others have simply failed to ask leaving the possibility open to me. Be one of the few who asks. You might be surprised and get what you want.
For example a few years ago I had a client who wanted to raise their profile in the business world nationally. I suggested that it would be a good idea for them to speak at a particularly high profile annual business conference. Now, this was not just a minor business event but something that would be attended by thousands of influential people and covered by national press and the broadcast media. My client laughed at the suggestion regarding it as ludicrous. This of course was just the challenge I needed!
I rang up and said: “I wonder if you can help? Who is it that is responsible for organising your speaking programme for next year’s conference please”? Hardly brain surgery, is it?
I then approached the person whose name I had been given. Do you know what, he was actually grateful for my approach. He commented that the bigger the event had got over recent years, the fewer people came forward with an offer to speak.
“People think our platform is out of reach”, he said.
He liked the idea of my client as a speaker. We agreed the topic and a year later my client was one of the few lucky ones to climb nervously onto the speaking platform.
Afterwards, a jealous competitor of mine who knew I had arranged this wanted to know, “how did you get him up there?” You know my answer by now.. “ I just asked”, I said!
To give you another simple personal example:
It was work experience time at my son’s school. At a certain age they all have to get themselves a week of work experience. One of the pupils decided to think big. Instead of asking for the possible … a week in a shop or an office … he decided to think big and ask for the impossible. He wrote to 10 Downing Street asking for a job!
Do you know what? He got it!
Professor Ian Cooper has been described as a ‘serial achiever’, London based, he is an international author of 15 books with in 55 countries and 13 languages, including the successful and influential ‘Financial Times Guide To Business Development’, recently shortlisted for the best management / business book of the year award. In addition to advising hundreds of businesses and organizations of all sizes for over 30 years, Ian is also a successful entrepreneur who has created and run a number of successful businesses. With approximately 1000 professional speaking engagements Ian has inspired thousands of businesses and individuals with his light and engaging style to improve their own performance, get better results and make things happen. You can connect with Ian on his website.