If you need more customers or money for your business, the answer is easy – you must ask for it.
I had lunch recently with a good friend and promising young entrepreneur.
Over lunch he shared the status of his current company and expressed some frustration in the company’s struggle to sign up clients faster.
As he was talking to me about the clients, it became clear that they were the same group of companies he discussed in our last meeting.
His company hadn’t closed any deals or funding since the last time we met. As I listened, I couldn’t help but wonder if he had clearly discussed the following questions with potential clients or investors:
- Here is our product and what it will do for you. Will you spend money on our product?
- Here is what we do and here are the investment terms. Will you invest in our company?
I am not suggesting that you actually speak to potential customers or investors this way.
What I am saying is, sometimes you have to just belly up to the bar and ask for the sale or the money. I know this is not an easy thing to do. In fact, even after you have done it many times, it can still be hard to get those words out of your mouth.
As hard as it may be, if you plan to be a successful entrepreneur you will need to learn with confidence how to ask – so you can receive it and get the sales or capital you need to grow your business.
Tip: It is important that the “asking” happens in person. Don’t send an email or call. People say no easier when it isn’t in person. There is no shame in taking advantage of the uncomfortable nature of saying no to a persons face – use it to your advantage!
Get used to it
Get used to saying it. Practice it! After hearing yourself say the words “will you invest?” or “will you spend the money?”, the fear of asking is greatly reduced.
In the case of my friend, I think he realized that he had done everything except ask potential clients to sign the deal.
The bottom line is this – if you need money for your start-up, need clients to buy your product or need some funds for any other reason, you had better get good at flat-out asking people for money.
The worst they can say is no.
Tip: The better you get at blending your value proposition with the other parties motivations the higher your chances of receiving a YES will be. When you increase your chances of a YES, you also increase your confidence as well as your success.
At the end of the day, if you don’t get people to invest or buy, you will struggle to be a successful entrepreneur. Companies that don’t have revenue or investment don’t survive.
So, do you have the “brass” to ask? Practice in the comments, lets chat about it.