Ask For Exactly What I Want – Ask Better Questions

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Ask better questions!A couple weeks ago I did a blog post on asking for exactly what I want.  It is all about the ask.  This is one of the biggest mistakes people make in negotiation and in business – not asking.  We don’t ask for the sale, we don’t ask for the deal, we don’t ask for the date.  We just don’t ask.

Along with asking for exactly what you want, you need to be sure to ask better questions.  Sometimes we can ask but if we don’t ask better questions, we still won’t get the results that we want.

For instance, I attended a party recently where a young lady that was part of the Teen Challenge organization had showed up to in the neighborhood to share info about Teen Challenge door to door.  She had turned her life around thanks to that program.  The host introduced her and told her what she was going to share about.  There were about 20 people there.

She started to share her story.  It was inspiring.  She didn’t ask any questions and briefly mentioned they raise funds through donations.  She didn’t ask for anything so I spoke up and asked, “What can we do to help?  Where do we go to donate?”  She told us several ways to donate.  Many gave donations on the spot.  Had I not asked the better questions on her behalf, she would not have gotten any results.

Often times I ask for something and I don’t get a response or the response I get goes around the question and doesn’t address the request.  When something like that happens a better question to ask often starts with “Is there any reason you can’t or  you won’t do whatever.”

For instance if I was asking for some feedback and the organization is not giving me the feedback and I have asked several times, the next time I might ask “Is there any reason you are not willing to give me the feedback I requested?”  Asking the question that way gives them only two options to either give you what you requested or give you the reason why they won’t.

Of course they could ignore it hoping it will go away but if you use the tip “Squeaky Wheel Gets the Grease” and keep on asking, they will most likely get so fed up hearing from you that they will give you the information you want just to make you go away and stop contacting them for the same thing.  We will explore that more in an upcoming post.

Bottom line, learn to ask for exactly what you want and when doing so, ask better questions.

Eldonna Lewis Fernandez
Eldonna Lewis Fernandez
Veteran negotiation and contracts expert Eldonna Lewis-Fernandez, author of “Think Like a Negotiator,” has over 30 years of experience crafting killer deals both stateside and internationally, many in excess of $100 million. She’s currently the CEO of Dynamic Vision International — a specialized consulting and training firm that helps individuals hone negotiation skills — as well as a nationally regarded keynote speaker, session leader and panelist on the Art of Negotiation. Eldonna may be reached online at

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