Follow These 9 Steps to Ask for What You Want (and Actually Get It)

UPDATED: June 8, 2023
PUBLISHED: November 17, 2015

The world responds to those who ask. When you begin to ask for what you need and want, you’ve taken control of your life—you are proactively steering its direction. Many wonderful and great things come to you as a result.

But just how do you go about getting started asking? Here are the primary action steps to take:

1. Act as if you expect to get it.

You need a solid level of certainty and expectation when you ask for something  you want. This state of mind will affect everything else—your body posture, eye contact, tone of voice and choice of words. Think for a moment. You’ve been in situations when you’ve asked and had every certainty that you would receive exactly what you were asking for. Remember how you felt then? Keep that in your mind with every request you make.

2. Ask someone who can give it to you.

Before you ask someone for something, make an assessment of whether or not they will be able to give it to you. Some people are very qualified and motivated to help. Others just aren’t capable of delivering. Watch people and review that capacity. Have you ever seen them capable of delivering what you’re about to ask them, or are you just hoping the potential is there?

3. Get the other person’s full attention.

Your request deserves that respect! If the person cannot give you his or her full attention right then, set up an appointment—schedule time to talk in the very near future.

4. Be clear and specific.

Be as concise as you possibly can in your requests. Ask for what you want, not for what you don’t want. At the same time, be careful what you ask for. More often than not, you get exactly what you’ve requested.

5. Ask from the heart.

I believe you can have anything you want if you want it desperately enough. Keep that unbridled passion for your purpose, project or goal stirring in your soul as you begin to ask and maintain eye contact throughout the entire ask process. This further establishes your integrity, trustworthiness and passion on the subject.

6. Ask with humor and creativity.

Humor captures our attention and breaks down our defenses. Creativity disarms our resistance and opens our minds to new possibilities.

7. Give something to get something.

As Zig Ziglar says, “You can get everything in life you want if you will just help enough other people get what they want.”  When you’re asking, always be sure to explain what’s in it for them, how they benefit and win because they’ve acted positively on your request.

8. Ask repeatedly.

If someone says, “No!” you say, “Next!” Expect no’s—even on a repeated basis from the same people you’re asking. Your tenaciousness and perseverance will undoubtedly pay off.

9. So you’ve asked and they still say no. Now what?

Don’t lose your cool when you’re faced with resistance. A powerful request can only be powerful if you’re also willing to be declined. Ask with authority, prepare yourself for a no, be gracious in receiving that no, then make one of two choices:

• Ask the person you just made the request of to help you with a solution.

They may know someone who can give you a yes and, given some freedom and respect from you, they often wander their own way into providing your yes.

• Walk away without burning your bridges.

You probably just came across someone who feasibly could not help you. The world is much too small and interconnected to lash out at even one person.

The best way of getting what you want is thinking about your request before you actually make it. Check out 6 strategies to help you begin the “asking” process.

Mark Victor Hansen is best known as the co-author for the Chicken Soup for the Soul book series and brand, setting world records in book sales, with over 500 million books sold. Mark also worked his way into a worldwide spotlight as a sought-after keynote speaker, and entrepreneurial marketing maven, creating a stream of successful people who have created massive success for themselves through Mark’s unique teachings and wisdom. With his endearing charismatic style, Mark captures his audience’s attention as well as their hearts. Having spoken to over 6,000 audiences world-wide with his one-of-a-kind technique and masterful authority of his work, time and again he continues to receive high accolades from his audiences as one of the most dynamic and compelling speakers and leaders of our time. Mark and his beautiful wife, Crystal Dwyer Hansen, have co-written their newest book to be released in April 2020 called, ASK! The Bridge from Your Dreams to Your Destiny.