Asking For Help

As a professional salesperson, there are several activities required for success that I simply don’t like. Most of these hated activities I can blow off or find my way around. However, there is one big exception….asking for help. Why do I need to ask for someone’s help? Because I love referrals, and I look to my sphere of influence to locate them for me. So, my choices are to work with other prospecting methods that take twice as long and produce less profit OR become comfortable with asking for help from my sphere of influence. Bummer.

I realized how difficult of a thing this was for me many years ago when, in an absolute moment of incredible stupidity, I agreed to climb a 30-foot pole and, once at the top, jump off. Never experiencing this type of activity before I was not familiar with the whole harness-pulley-rope system that is used to keep you safe. I was introduced to the “belay”, which I now know is the person who is assigned to keep your rope tight and feeling secure and generally keep you safe.

In fact, working with the belay was one of the points of this exercise. As you started climbing the pole your rope becomes slack, this reduced tension in your harness makes you feel very vulnerable. I had been instructed that when this happened, the protocol was to stop and say, “Belay, I do not feel safe, and I need your help. Please tighten my rope”. I quickly learned something about myself…..even hanging off a 30-foot pole with my life in peril, I found asking for help difficult. The words literally choked in my throat, and tears welled up in my eyes as I finally eked out the words.

Many people have this same problem. We somehow believe that asking for help is a sign of weakness. Saying that we need assistance shows someone that we are vulnerable. But if you are in the business of getting referrals, asking people for help is extremely important.

Ironically, as I have witnessed others ask for help, they appear strong. I am endeared to the thought that they have asked and are sincere and genuine in their efforts. Because of this sincerity, I really want to help them.

How do we ask for help so that people have a positive response and we feel comfortable? Below is a structure that can assist you.

  1. First and foremost remind yourself what value you will be bringing to a referral. Holding that strongly in your heart will allow you to be more powerful.
  2. Identify exactly what want the outcome to be prior to asking. Having clarity allows you to be specific with in your message, which leads me to number 3….
  3. Make it easy for the listener to understand what you as asking by being specific
  4. Thank them in advance of them helping you.
  5. And give them an opportunity to ask for help in return

Here’s an example….

Steve, I really need your help. Many people are sitting on the sidelines of the real estate market, afraid to go forward with purchasing a house. This is important because if they wait much longer, the timing will not be as advantageous. My goal is to help 25 families evaluate this option, educate them on the process, and put together a plan. The benefit is they can logically understand if this is a good alternative for them while the rates, inventory, and prices are still great. So I was wondering, would you be my eyes and ears out in the community and let me know if you hear of anyone who may need my assistance? I would really appreciate it. Is there anything I can help you with?

The question for you then is “What would happen in your business if you became 100% comfortable with asking for help?”