Finally, A Structure For How To Ask For Anything
Today, I want to talk about asking for what you want.
I am talking about asking for anything. Big or small.
If you have seen my Instagram stories lately, you have heard me talk about my struggle with sleep. It’s the worst.
In addition to cleaning up my sleep hygiene (I’ll do a post on this shortly), I realized our top of the line, nearly perfect mix of firm and cloud-like mattress was sinking in. Horribly!
How could this be? We’ve only had it for 4 years!
I didn’t want to admit that it was likely we were going to have to buy a new mattress, which seemed absurd being that mattresses are supposed to last for up to 10 years.
I was apprehensive about reaching out to the company. We hadn’t purchased the warranty, and I was pretty sure that I knew what they would say.
The prospect of hearing “There’s nothing we can do for you” made me put off calling for ages.
Now, you may think, “That’s silly Erin! What’s the big deal about calling a company and asking if they could do anything for you?”
And you are right. It wasn’t a big deal to call and ask, so why was I procrastinating on it?
I realized, I wasn’t procrastinating on the ask just because I thought I would get a no, but also because what was tied to that no.
Have you ever had to ask for something small and you are afraid the person on the other side will think you’re ridiculous for your request?
Or they will judge you?
Or they will be annoyed?
Or they won’t understand why you are asking?
Or worst of all, you just won’t know exactly what to say!
Because when we have the right words that feel honest about our own feelings and needs AND ARE ALSO respectful of the receiver, it makes it a lot easier.
So today, I want to share a simple structure you can follow to make a request. Big or small.
I use it for everything.
It’s called a Delicious Ask-For-Anything Sandwich.
1. It starts with a lovely piece of whole grain (maybe gluten free) bread, which is really a compliment or a moment of connection.
EX: “Hi Sally from Big Mattress Company. We bought a mattress from you guys 4 years ago and it was literally our favorite purchase in the whole world. The best thing we ever owned.”
2. Then, comes the toppings of your sandwich. (The meat, the PBJ, whatever kind of sandwich you like.) The toppings are the ask itself.
EX: “Unfortunately, the mattress is significantly sinking and now making it terribly uncomfortable for sleep. I am not sure if the mattress has a default, but my husband and I are both fairly miserable. Is there anything we can do about this, being that mattresses are supposed to last 10 years?”
3. The second piece of delicious bread comes next, which is another compliment or opportunity for connection.
EX: I know you are such a reputable and outstanding company. We really appreciate you taking a moment to consider helping out.
And that’s it!
No drama. No over explaining. No backpedaling. No apologizing.
This ask is delivered with thoughtfulness and love, while standing in your own power.
Delicious Ask-For-Anything Sandwich.
This formula can be used from anything to asking a masseuse for firmer pressure during a massage (I have a hard time doing that!), to asking your partner to take some time to hear about your new business idea.
It can be used with your kiddos. It can be used with your parents.
And the reason it works, is because a) it gives you the confidence knowing you have a structure to rely on but b) more importantly, it allows you to connect to the other person and not just throw your complaints at them.
(A huge reason people DON’T get what they want.)
As far as my mattress goes, you can imagine my surprise when I finally did call, and instead of being out of luck the company gave me a full refund. What?! Yes, you read that correctly!
I got more than I expected because I finally just asked.
So, what’s something you’ve been putting off asking for?
This week, I want you to ask for it.
Whether it’s for advice, a favor or something else altogether, step up and make the ask.
Let me help you get started. Leave a comment below and practice the Delicious Ask-For-Anything Sandwich formula. Let me know what you are going to ask for.
I can’t wait to hear from you! I hope you get so much more than you think you will!
PS: If your ask is related to The Movement — about content, the app, or anything at all — don’t hesitate to reach out! Send an email to our wonderful customer advocate, Katia, and she’ll make sure you’re looked after!
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