Frankly, it’s very rare to have someone say “yes” to your scheme the first time you ask, even if it’s the obviously the most amazing idea ever. So you’ll have to either ask again or give up. I recommend the former, not the latter, which is why Chapter 10 of The Influence Game covers tactics for effective follow-up such as:
- Know the Difference between Persistence and Stalking You clearly don’t want to become that “oh no, not her again” person, which is why I’m often asked “how do I know when I’ve gone too far?” In my opinion, if the decision-maker you’re trying to reach has ignored two different methods of communication (perhaps a phone call, an e-mail and/or a social media message) twice each, they’re just not that into you. It may be time to move on.
- Control the Uncontrollable Sometimes outside events overshadow even the best-laid plans. Don’t try to drag everyone kicking and screaming back to your issue. Instead, figure out if there’s a way to connect to what everyone else is talking about.
- Don’t Take Credit, Even if You Deserve It People say that one of the best ways to get someone on board with something is to make them think it was their idea. That’s a little cynical for me. I’d say the best way to do it is to actually make your idea their idea. In other words, form a collaborative effort in which both parties are sincerely invested in the outcome. Then you both can take credit – because you both deserve it.
- Say Thank You Full disclosure – I’m horrible at writing thank you notes. Don’t follow my example. Thank people who’ve helped you in the past. You never know when they might be willing or able to help you in the future!
- Avoid Failure by Redefining Success I can’t guarantee that these strategies will get you what you want every time. However, I can say that if you constantly reassess your goals, particularly as they relate to the external environment, you may find that you’re able to celebrate small victories along the way. Don’t underestimate the value of these successes – they’ll keep you and your supporters going for the long haul.
I’ll go in to more details on each of these tactics in future posts or, of course, you can always buy the book. Not only will you get a lot of wisdom, but you’ll be entered into a drawing for a free Nook Color! Also, be sure to download my free yearly planning worksheet that will help you plan some of this follow-up work.
In the end, remember that sometimes if you aren’t getting an answer to your question (or an answer you don’t like), it’s time to ask a different question. You may need to think about how you can reframe your question in a way that resonates with your audience. You’ll be far more likely to get to yes.
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