The Power of A.S.K.ing


Have you ever had the opportunity to follow-up on a sales lead? Recently, I had such an opportunity to reconnect with an organization that I had been trying to secure as a client. Due to some new events and after multiple unreturned phone calls, I decided to ask for the decision maker within the department. After receiving the executive's name and finally making contact, I explained who I was, where I was from and how I could add value to their training request. A planned 5 minute telephone call turned into a 30 minute engaging dialogue where I learned even more about their needs and was asked in return if I had the experience to facilitate a second, separate engagement.

The point of this story is quite simple. How many times in life do we fail because we didn't ASK? For example, we receive only part of the information that we need and instead of A.S.K.'ing for the rest of the information we provide a response based on limited information. We rationalize this behavior because of our desire to respond quickly, to showcase our expertise, to show respect, to not lose a potential contact or sale, etc. Yet, if we had received all of the necessary information, how much different would the outcome be?

Many of us know when to ask, however, we may not understand why we need to ask. In exploring the various reasons for asking, there are 3 basic actions why we A.S.K:

Aspire ~ Solidify ~ Know

First, by A.S.K.'ing, we aspire to reach that next level of understanding. Remember, how young children are always asking "Why?" like "Why isn't the moon always round?" These endless questions provide opportunities for them to grow.

Reason number two centers around the need to solidify our current information or knowledge. By A.S.K.'ing, we take the time to ensure that our understanding is solid so that we can accept new knowledge into our existing experiences. Examples of this include such questions as: "Ask do you understand?" or my personal favorite "Does that make sense to you?"

The third reason we ask is to know something. Knowing questions are "Where are you going?" or "When do you want this project finished?"

A.S.K.'ing is truly an art that we refine over time through practice and awareness. Our continued practice and awareness create the balance so that we also know when not to ask. The question is then "Should I ask?"

"To know the road ahead, ask those coming back." Chinese Proverb

Leanne Hoagland-Smith, M.S. President of ADVANCED SYSTEMS, is the Process Specialist. With over 25 years of business and education experience, she builds peace and abundance by connecting the 3P's of Passion, Purpose and Performance through process improvement. Her ROI driven process solutions affect sustainable change in 4 key areas: financials, leadership, relationships and growth & innovation with a variety of industries. She aligns the strategies, systems and people to develop loyal internal customers that lead to external customers. As co-author of M.A.G.I.C.A.L. Potential:Living an Amazing Life Beyond Purpose to Achievement due for June 2005 release, Leanne speaks nationally to a variety of audiences. Please call Leanne a call at 219.759.5601 or email leanne@processspecialist.com if you are seeking amazing results.

Copyright 2005(c) Leanne Hoagland-Smith, www.processspecialist.com">http://www.processspecialist.com

Permission to publish this article, electronically or in print, as long as the bylines are included, with a live link, and the article is not changed in any way (grammatical corrections accept.)


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