blue rule


Published February 2, 2019

Weekly Idea - Expect NO

Paul Edwards is perhaps the most outstanding trainer in the country in coaching our profession in the fine art of asking for a gift.

Yale, Stanford, Oxford, The University of Pennsylvania— and add another several hundred institutions that have benefitted.

He says, expect No for an answer. You won’t always get a yes. Your job is to find out if it’s no forever.

I have my Four Magic Questions I ask to determine what a No might mean. In our Seminars, I explain how to most effectively ask the questions.

Then here is what I want to know:

  1. Are they saying no to the institution?
  2. No to the project?
  3. No to the amount?
  4. No to the timing?

I use the same Four Questions if they say they need time to think it over. If you leave a session without finding out what that means, you’re sunk.

Here’s how I respond to that situation. “Of course you need time to think it over. Let me just ask this. It seemed as we talked that you really love the institution. So you’re not saying no to the institution.”

Then I go through the next three questions.

BTW: If you want to understand more about ASKING, attend our Art of Asking Seminar in Chicago on May 20-21, 2019 where Paul Edwards will be leading this dynamic 2-day Seminar.