June 2, 2023

How to get an enthusiastic yes

By Wes Kao
Co-founder of Maven
Find out why your pitches might not be landing and discover a simple yet effective method to improve your chances of getting a yes.

You need buy-in throughout your daily work:
  • Asking for a warm intro
  • Pitching your idea
  • Applying for a job
  • Selling a course
  • Closing a sale
Notice how these are all situations where the person COULD say yes… Or they could ignore you.
So how do you get an enthusiastic yes?
Let’s invert the problem. Why do people say no in the first place?
They say no because they don't see how a situation is beneficial to them. You wouldn’t do something if there's no upside for you. Too often, when you write or speak to others, you're only thinking of why an idea is good for you.
This is the most important time to position why an idea is good for THEM.
By the way, this is one of the topics I teach in the Maven Course Accelerator, our free 3-week program. Secure your seat (it’s free).
The truth is, a lot of your requests—for customers, partners, or prospective students—are probably a bit selfish. This is normal.
To counteract your default "me"-centric viewpoint, you have to actively and consciously choose to see things from the other person's point of view. Then use those insights to frame your idea.
To increase the chance of getting a yes, do this:
  1. Write the ask
  2. Highlight parts that benefit you
  3. Highlight parts that benefit the other person
You may be surprised how much of your note is self-serving. The key is to edit so the final version is ~90% about the other person. 
For example, here’s a note I edited for a friend. It was a cover letter email, which is essentially a sales note:
🟨 = about themself
🟩 = about the recipient
After the exercise, they were shocked at the page full of yellow highlights. Their pitch email was entirely about themselves.
If you can't think of why it would be rational for them to give you an enthusiastic yes, go back to the drawing board. Be glad you caught yourself before hitting send because you still have time to improve how you frame your idea.
Right now, you probably have a situation where you are hoping for a yes—for example: promoting your new course. You’re going to have to ask for it. Show people what they gain, not what you gain. Give them a reason to say yes to you.

PS When you’re building something new, it’s helpful to have a place to bounce ideas and get unstuck. That’s why we built the Maven Course Accelerator. This is a comprehensive course to learn the basics of positioning, course design, and marketing.
Hundreds of top instructors like Amanda Natividad, Dave Kline, Emily Kramer, Marily Nika, and Christian Wattig have graduated from the accelerator.
When you start earning on Maven, you keep 90% of your course revenue minus Stripe fees. On average, instructors earn $20,000 in their first cohort. Plus, you own your IP and content. Our goal is to help you launch and grow a course you’re proud of.
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