Get Your Asks in Gear!

(A 3-Step Daredevil Formula to Getting What You Want)


Last week, I surprised my wife, Dania, for our fifth wedding anniversary, by taking her to her favorite place in Taiwan: Kenting.

Kenting is a small beach resort type city, abundant with tourists wearing sunglasses, swimsuits and flip-flops.

And…it always rains when we go there (I’m starting to wonder why we keep going).

In addition to our usual packing, I brought a variety of work supplies: laptop, book and airpods. No, not romantic, I confess.

The hotel was pretty and the room, small. And no business centre, something I desperately needed. But, I found a business centre at another hotel where I could do my work. I had to provide a persuasive presentation to the hotel assistant to not just allow me to use it, but to also grant some even taller order requests – much “taller.”

Presenting in Kenting

As we walked to the other hotel with our bright yellow “Welcome to Kenting Beach” umbrellas, my wife and I had a conversation:

Dania: You need to tell them we’re not staying at the hotel.

Me: No worries. I’ve got a plan.

Dania: Please just tell them because we’re not allowed to use the business centre.

Me: No worries. I’ve got a plan. 😉

At the hotel, I put my plan into action with the hotel assistant. And I slowly started to get the agreements I needed until the room was reserved for me — a non-guest — for private use and for two hours for a whoppin’ $7.00 USD! 😉

Here's how I did it:

  1. Mirroring: I built rapport with the friendly hotel assistant by mirroring his smile, his gentle manner, tone, volume and body language. With commonalities established and recognized, trust and rapport were created.
  2. Pacing: As I engaged him in conversation, I changed all of the above as he did. In other words, I “copied” his personal style of communication so that his subconscious mind saw the commonalities that existed between us. I built more trust between us that way.
  3. Leading: Each time I felt there was a good deal of trust built between us and he showed signs of wanting to help, I uttered my small asks: “Can I use my own laptop instead of these desktops?”, “Can I just get the password?” etc. These were the small agreements I received that got him to say the word “yes” many times over.

And then...

…I continued the pacing process.

The early leads are the small asks. The later leads are the bigger asks. The more you establish the trust as you pace, the more you’ll open the doors to lead.

Need proof? Imagine I just went straight to the hotel assistant’s desk and said, “Hi! Would you be willing to let me use your business centre privately for two hours while accessing your wifi service for only $7.00? Oh, and I’m not a guest at this hotel.”

His immediate smile would have turned into uproarious laughter! My smile would have turned into a disappointed frown. And my wife would have been like, “So, how’s that plan going?”

It’s amazing: the power of pacing and leading. While we sometimes do it without realizing it, we can do it with daredevil intention and strategy to gain the buy-in we need during our important meetings.

It’s the same with presenters who use this strategy with large audiences, whether in-person or virtually. Getting the early agreements by having people say “yes” vocally or in their minds to something you said, raising their hand, nodding, or giving a thumbs up is crucial to gaining the larger agreements you’ll need towards the end of your presentation, such as in your call to action.


So, let’s summarize: mirror – pace – lead – click – here.