For the last couple of weeks we have been working on just plain old asking for what we want.  Now let’s explore asking a group for something we want.  Here we can use some of our techniques for public speaking to think about how to go about asking a group, which may contain strangers, what you want them to do for you.

You might think that it would be easier to ask a group of  people you know but truth is that it is harder.  Why?  Because you will want to keep up a good ongoing relationship.  Whereas with strangers, you will never see most of them again and their opinion of you doesn’t mean as much.

Spiral Staircase  So what will be different?  With people you know, some will know your needs and others will not.  Let’s take the example of getting new business.  If you are dinner with 5 other friends how do you pose the statement: ” I need more clients”.  First, do all these friends know exactly what you do?  Do they know what kind of client you are looking for?  If not, you need to do some basic work to get everyone on the same page. There are several ways of doing this which should not seem intrusive. One way is to identify an area of your practice that you are promoting . Conversation could go something like:” I have recently noticed the need of my clients for a probate lawyer who understands special needs trusts. I am thinking of expanding my practice into that. What do you think?”  Then you can find out how many of your friends even know you do probate……If it becomes clear that your job is to let your friends know more about what you do, you have a platform to do that.

The basis of marketing is to be sure that your contacts know exactly what you do and how they can help you.  This starts with your elevator speech and mission statement.  Then it get expanded into your website and Linkedin image.  Then the next step is to take that information to as many people as possible.  Even your friends at a dinner deserve to have a short clear statement of what you do and what you want if you find that there is a lack of understanding. Remember people don’t know what you need if you don’t tell them.

So how do you ask a group of strangers for something?   Usually, the best kind of public speaking in marketing is by giving the audience something of value and not  selling yourself.  This takes some subtle maneuvering to make asking happen.  If you are presenting a wills, trusts and estate planning seminar for your community you will be able to give the audience not only advice but a wealth of materials to enlighten them about what they need for good planning.  But how do you tell them that they should sign up with you for their estate plans?  First by showing your competence.  Then by being open to their questions. Last by emphasizing the need for professional help.  This can be done through stories of people who have ignored their planning or done it on their own with really bad results.  The newspapers are filled with stories about celebrities whose beneficiaries  have suffered as a consequence.  Get creative.

Hopefully this gives you some ideas about ASKING AND GETTING.  Next task is to plan such an event. Either a dinner with a group of friends or a public speaking engagement.  Words are just words……until you take action.