Don’t ask, don’t get!

Dont ask dont get

Hey guys, this is Ben Lai from Sales Ethos. Today I’m going to share with you another one of my favourite one-liners in sales. This one is “If you don’t ask, you don’t get!” There was a story once, when I was a kid… I was walking by the McDonalds with my auntie… They had this new ice cream sundae flavour. It was some mango flavour. As a kid, you know, you love your sugar. I really wanted that ice cream. So I asked my auntie, I said, “Can I have that ice cream?” And being a good auntie, she was trying to train me to be brave and to take the initiative and she said, “Okay, you can have it. Here’s the money, you go and pay for it…” And then I froze. I was very timid as a kid, I didn’t want to go up to that counter and order the ice cream for myself because I was scared of the person behind the counter. So then I changed my mind. And I said, “It’s okay, I don’t want it.” But the reality was, I really did want that ice cream I was just too afraid to ask.

How “Don’t ask, don’t get” applies for sales professionals

And I think a lot of us as salespeople can be like that. We’re afraid of the rejection. We’re afraid of someone saying “No” to us. And so what we do is we just simply don’t ask. We don’t find out whether the person is willing to buy. So this is especially important in the closing part of the sale. So when you’re in that situation, if you’re ever feeling scared, ask yourself, or remind yourself, “If I don’t ask, I’m not going to get!” That’s the surest way to fail if you don’t try, and if you don’t ask.

An example of “Don’t ask, don’t get” as an adult

On the flip side, I have a recent experience when I was… I wanted to use a certain room for filming my videos. And I was afraid to ask the person at reception. And now this is me as a fully grown adult! I was afraid to ask the receptionist to use it without having to hire the entire room, because it’s a very, very big room, it attracts a very high cost. I wanted to use it without having to pay for it. But I felt a bit sheepish. You know, I didn’t want to seem like I was being a cheapskate or anything like that. And so that was what was preventing me from asking.

But then I reminded myself of that phrase, “If you don’t ask you don’t get.” And so I pushed myself to the receptionist and asked if I could use the room without having to pay for the entire room. And they said yeah, sure, under these conditions, you have to accept that people will walk by and things like that, because you don’t have exclusive use of the room. But yes, you can use it if you want to. And wow, I was not expecting that! But if I’d had not asked I would not have received.

“Don’t ask, don’t get” application for kids

So remember this fantastic one liner, if you don’t ask you don’t get in your sales situations. By the way, if you’re a parent, teach this to your kids as well. One of the things about kids is that they lack the communication skills to get what they want. Usually, if you say “no” to them, what they’ll do is they’ll lie down on the floor, do a “dead cockroach,” flailing their arms and legs about and throw a tantrum. If you teach them to ask for the things that they want and to negotiate with you, you’re teaching them a valuable life skill. You’ll help them to understand if they don’t talk to you. And if they don’t try to negotiate that they’re not going to get what they want.

Imagine how this is going to benefit them throughout school and throughout university and in the workplace. If they develop this habit of asking for what they want, and they negotiate for it, it’ll help them for an entire lifetime.


So remember the phrase “Don’t ask you don’t get…” The flip side of that is “Ask you shall receive…” Not always true, people still can say “no,” but you certainly won’t receive if you don’t ask. So remember always to ask. Leave a comment below, what do you think? Do you think this is a good phrase to use? Do you have your own sales one-liners, leave it in the comments below. Don’t forget to like and subscribe, and remember that integrity plus skills equals success!

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Sales Ethos is the only provider of sales training for introverts. We also provide sales coaching, sales process consulting, and sales training in Melbourne & Adelaide.

One thought on “Don’t ask, don’t get!

  1. Paulus says:

    Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you: For every one that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh. findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened.
    Matthew 7:7–8

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