Secrets to Hearing “Yes!” 3 Win-Win Tips

Face it, you want what you want and your partner/spouse wants what s/he wants. How do you get your significant other (SO) to say “yes” to your request when that person is busy watching football on TV? Try these three win-win tips.

1)      Ask yourself what would motivate your SO to give you what you want, and appeal to that. In all fairness, relationships are about give and take. Find out what you must give to set up a fair exchange. You already know what your SO likes, or you could ask about a trade-off. When your SO feels it’s in their best interest, you’ll both get what you want.

2)      Don’t start your request with a yes/no question. If your SO says “yes” you’re all set, but you may hear “no.” Don’t put yourself in a position of having to come from behind. Use a yes/no question to nail down an affirmative reply when you’ve already set the stage to hear a positive answer.

3)      Plan ahead by gathering information. Questions that begin with the words, “who,” “what,” “where,” “when,” “why,” “how,” and “which” are great for eliciting information. These open-ended questions invite a longer, more informative response. Use it to gauge your SO’s willingness to give you what you want. This method of communication helps you find out objections to a particular subject and gives you an opportunity to overcome them before asking outright. It also helps you determine what you must give on your end to make it happen.

For example: say you need a new outfit, a dress, for an upcoming dinner. You and your SO don’t always agree on what’s appropriate or attractive, and you want an opinion. From past experience, you know your SO doesn’t like to stand around and wait while you try on a dozen different outfits. Here’s how to put the three tips to work for you:

During a general conversation, casually mention you need a new dress, something your SO would be proud to see you wear. This gives a reason to help in the process. If your SO needs to shop for an unrelated item, while they get what they need, you could be narrowing your choices to three dresses. You ask to meet up in an hour to show the ones you would buy upon approval. Promise to keep this process short and stick to it. When you believe there is agreement, save your yes/no question for the end.

It could go something like this:

You:    Hey, Honey, when are you planning your next trip to the store? (Listen to the answer and form your request around it.) The reason I ask is we have three events coming up including your office party. My best dress has seen better days. I need something new and I want to make sure I pick out something you like as much as I do. I know you don’t want to hang out while I shop, so I’m thinking you can drop me off at the mall and you can take care of what you need to do while I’m looking at dresses. Then, we could meet up an hour later for just a few minutes. I’ll show you what I like and you can pick the one you like best. Are we on?

Be creative in your thinking. Present choices – ones that work for you. Here’s a second look at our dress scenario using choices.

You:    Honey, we’ve got a few events coming up and I need a new dress. I know you hate shopping, however I’d like to get your opinion on whatever I’ll be wearing to your office party. Which would you prefer? Do you want to come shopping with me? Or, would you rather I bring home three dresses to show you? You pick one and I’ll return the rest.

Whether you meet at the store or your home, by picking the dresses first, you’ve already ensured you’ve got several that you would be happy to wear.

When you bring your SO into the decision-making process, you confer empowerment. By giving choices, there’s a better chance your SO will agree to something you want, whether you are buying a dress, picking a movie, doing a room make-over, or deciding where to go on vacation.

Author/speaker Janet F. Williams is a high-end sales professional, sales trainer and coach for personal and professional development. She speaks on topics contained in her award-winning book “You Don’t Ask, You Don’t Get” to businesses, networking groups, non-profits, book clubs and more. For more information or to buy the book, please visit: and

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