As women, we often adopt a soft-spoken approach to asking for what we want. Many of us have been the person in the room with the least amount of input, the one who is overlooked and the one whose opinion isn’t needed. So how do we go from being shy about asking for what we want, to being confident, full of conviction and able to voice our desires?

For me, the process of learning sales has helped me to learn how to advocate for myself. By applying sales training to both my career and personal life, I’ve learned to ask for what I want in a respectful way that gets results. Ladies, you aren’t going to get what you want until you learn how to ask for it.

Ask Earlier Than you Think you Should

In sales, we start asking for the sale way sooner than you might think we should. When working in bridal consulting, I learned that we had to start the sales process far before a bride ever stepped foot into the boutique. In real estate, the same was also true. We spent so much time qualifying the lead and selling to someone before they even thought they were in the sales process. For us, the same is true in our personal and professional lives.

What do you want? Whether you’re pitching an idea for your next family vacation or making a huge networking move, start asking earlier than you think you should. Just like a sales consultant would, start finding out the potential objections before you get to the sales conversation. What does your family think about going on a vacation? When would be a good time? What are they excited about?

Find out all possible reasons why you would get an answer that’s different than what you want, and be ready to address it. When asking for a raise, think about why that would be received with something less desirable and how you can turn around the conversation to point to specific facts and evidence to support your desires.

Sometimes, asking earlier than you think you should can pay off, but in my experience, prepping for your first “ask” and then asking, is only the beginning.

Ask Until you get an Answer

So you are ready to answer all questions and objections, you’ve started to “pre-sell” on what you want and you’ve asked at least once. So now, you wait for a response. Right?


Now you ask again, and again and again. That’s right. You keep asking!

I know what you’re thinking, what if I get a no? Or what if I’m afraid I’m bothering them? Something that has challenged me in my marriage is watching how direct and unapologetic my husband can be. He isn’t unkind, but he’s straightforward. He doesn’t even say sorry when he can’t make it to a friend’s event; he just says, “I can’t make it.”

I’ve been trying to soak up all of that direct communication he has and use it in my own life, and the same applies when asking for what we want. Just ask. Be direct, and ask until you get an answer. It takes grit, endurance, and the courage to hear no a few times.

Now, if the answer is no, don’t let rejection take you out of the game. I love an underdog, as most people do. As a writer, I deal with rejection regularly. This means people straight up say no to my face or in my inbox all the time, and they usually say something along the lines of “it’s not a great fit for our publication.”

So how do I respond? I look for hints of objections, like with that example that tells me my content isn’t up to par, or I need to do more research. Then I ask again. Sometimes it just means editing, sometimes it means taking a whole new approach. But always address why it was a no the first time, why you think the circumstances that made it a no the first time around have changed and then keep asking.

It is critical to fearlessly follow up because the reality is we live in a time of new notifications popping up constantly. People are busy, and generally, they’ll be grateful if you follow up and hold them accountable because they likely just forgot when a new notification popped up as they were forming a response.

Be Confident in Your Convictions

If you’re going to ask for something and keep asking for it, you have to really believe in whatever it is you’re asking for. Do you deserve a raise? How can you prove it to your employer? Do you think next summer is the perfect time to take the whole family on a cross-country road trip? How are you going to accomplish it, and what value does it bring the family to do this?

I know that you want something, and I believe you want it for good reasons. Be ready to stand behind your convictions of what you want and make sure the people in the room are going to see your conviction and be drawn to it. In bridal consulting, sometimes I don’t even ask for the sale. I simply say, “I think this is your dress,” and when I say it with conviction, the bride believes it too and says, “I think so too.”

If two people communicate the same thing, but one does so with conviction and confidence in their tone and the other whispers and doesn’t make eye contact, who are you going to believe? This translates to a virtual “ask” as well. Self-deprecating comments in your inbox don’t sound like someone who believes in what they’re asking for, but confident follow-up emails say, “I believe I have value and I believe in what I’m asking for. You should believe in it too.”

Now, go after what you want with confidence and get results!