How To Ask Anyone For Anything
Here’s How I Invite World-Class Thought Leaders like Seth Godin To Speak At My Events — I Call It The ‘Aligned Path’ Method…
“How Do You Get Big Names Like Gary Vaynerchuk, Simon Sinek, and Seth Godin To Speak At Your Events?”
This is a question I’m asked on a regular basis.
(…along with, ‘Hey Giovanni, can I speak at your event?”)
For context, I produce a large-scale business and personal development conference in Toronto called Archangel Summit.
Every September, thousands of visionary entrepreneurs fly in from around the world to hear world-class thought leaders share their wisdom.
We’ve booked speakers like Brendon Burchard, Danielle LaPorte, Daymond John, Gretchen Rubin, Robin Sharma, Gary, Simon, Seth, and dozens of others.
The process I’ve used to reach out to these individuals is the same one I use to build the Archangel tribe and have thousands of people join the movement.
I’d like to share the methodology with you.
It’s called The Aligned Path Method.
It will help you ask anyone for anything — and I’ll share how I used the process to reach out (in a cold email) to Seth Godin.
The “Seth” Back Story…
When people ask ‘who are your role models and heroes?’ — I have 2 answers:
Professor X (from the X-Men Comics), and Seth Godin.
(I’ll talk about having a fictional character as a role model in a future article.)
Seth Godin is my hero.
Over the past 20 years, he has written 18 best-selling business and marketing books including Permission Marketing, Tribes, and Purple Cow.
I’ve read every book, but more importantly, I’ve applied his wisdom to help grow and scale my business.
I was honoured back in 2013 when Seth asked the readers of his daily blog to submit a question about any of his books — he would choose his favourite question, and answer it in a following post.
Out of the thousands of submissions, he chose my question on tribe-building and answered it here.
I took what he shared and used it to build the Archangel tribe — thousands of superhero entrepreneurs who want to change the world.
So when it came time to producing our first large-scale Summit back in 2016, I knew I had to have Seth as one of the keynote speakers.
But how do you ‘pitch’ the best marketer in the world?
Introducing The Aligned Path Method
Here’s the process I use to ask anyone for anything.
It works extremely well if you are a ‘giver’ — someone who loves to help and serve others (and often finds it challenging to ‘ask’ for things).
It starts with the understanding that we’re all on unique journeys and paths.
We all have a unique mission.
We all have our own vision of a bigger future.
And we all want and need different things.
Right now, you have a mission. And there are obstacles in your way of achieving that mission…which is probably why you’re asking someone for help.
Well, it turns out the person who can help you is ALSO on their own path and mission…with their own set of obstacles, challenges, and opportunities.
The magic of the Aligned Path Method is when you ask someone for something, and by giving you that ‘thing’, they are actually moving further down their OWN path.
For That Moment In Time, Your Paths Are Aligned
This works extremely will if the ‘giver’ gets further down their own path than you do.
This mistake most people make is that they’re solely focused on their OWN problem or challenge — the reason they’re making the ask.
They never stop to think about the person they’re making the request of — what they need, what’s in their way, their mission, their aspirations, and their bigger future.
And you need to do your homework.
You can’t just ask the person ‘how can I help you?’ or ‘what do you need?’.
You need to have the answers to these questions BEFORE you make the ask.
That way, when you DO make the ask, it’s positioned in a way that becomes a no-brainer to the other person.
Make Them An Offer They Can’t Refuse
Think about this from a very basic entrepreneurial framework.
You’re a business owner and you have a service to sell.
Your ‘ask’ is for someone to pay you.
Have you ever tried to sell your service to a qualified prospect, and they said ‘no’?
It may have been because you were more focused on the sale (your path) than you were on the bigger future of your potential client (their path).
Or, it could have been that they didn’t feel understood.
The most successful entrepreneurs can speak to a dream client in a way that explains the client’s path, their bigger future, and the obstacles preventing them from getting there, better than the client can.
You want the person to think, “Wow…this person really ‘gets’ me.”
You want them to feel that you can confidently and quickly help them get to their bigger future, AND that there’s more value in the transformation/result/bigger future than there is in the money they’re giving you.
So What Did I Say To Seth?
Booking speakers for an event isn’t as simple as reaching out and making a financial offer.
(I wish it were that easy!)
You have to know what motivates them, what their mission is, what their bigger future is, and if there’s a way for you to help them get there faster.
For Seth, my hunch was that he would be motivated by proof that his work has made an impact and a difference — that his work matters.
Here are excerpts from my emails to him:
This is an invite to speak at an event in Toronto for 3000 dreamers, superheroes and ruckus makers in September that literally exists because I’ve actually implemented your advice.
In 2013 you asked your readers to submit a question, and you chose mine to feature.
Since then I have built a tribe of mission-driven, superhero entrepreneurs who are ACTUALLY changing the world.
And now we’re producing a behemoth of an event where the purpose is to gather the tribe of thousands in the same room, dream bigger (and execute on their dreams), make something that matters, lead tribes, and share their gifts.
Everything I’ve built is directly linked to following your work, and it would be a huge honour to have this all come full circle and have you share your wisdom with my tribe.
First let me quickly share what this event is NOT…
- a pitch fest
- a sleazy internet marketing get rich quick event
- a woo-woo spiritual event
- anything similar that you would not want to be associated with
Our movement and tribe — Archangel — is all about curating and connecting mission-driven entrepreneurs who are making a real impact in the world.
We believe that dreamers, inventors, entrepreneurs, and innovators are the keys to real social change, and my role is to talent scout these superheroes.
Since 2014 we’ve put all our energy into building our ‘1000 true fans’. We have an army of people in the Archangel tribe supporting this event.
I can imagine that you only want to speak at events that completely align and resonate with your message. I can promise that this will be one of your favourite (if not THE favourite) experiences.
NOTE — we incorporate entertainment, performances, and stories interlaced between speakers, as if the entire event is one giant hero’s journey and each speaker is presenting a chapter of the book.
I believe, with all my heart, that this group will not only appreciate your wisdom — they’ll actually execute on it like I have and create the most collective impact to gift forward your work.
I love you Seth. Either way, thank you for everything you have done for me, my tribe, and all of the people we get to serve. I’ve read every book since Permission Marketing, and I’ve actually implemented them to do something that matters.
The Aligned Path Method In Action
My intention was to show that (a) I’m a hardcore student of his work, (b) that I’ve used and applied his wisdom, and (c) that it’s making a big difference in my life, and in the lives of millions of people.
I also wanted to show that by sharing his wisdom with our tribe (a tribe created because he showed me how to build it), that together we could create exponential impact.
(He may have also laughed when I mentioned that my two heroes — Seth Godin and Professor X, kind of look alike…)
One of the most incredible and impactful keynotes I’ve ever seen Seth deliver.
Want To See Seth’s Legendary Talk From Archangel Summit?
We never release these videos publicly, but if you’d like private access to the entire talk for free, click on the link below.
Before you go…
If you liked this article, click the👏 below, and share it with others so they can enjoy it as well.