It started as an intention to give-away a book and ended as an opportunity to teach a basic principle of marketing.

I wrote a favorable review of Rowse and Murray’s Scorecard for Bloggers.  Last evening I decided to purchase a book for the first student who would contact me with a proper ASK.  Apparently, capitalizing the word  “ask” lead some to believe I was seeking an acronym.

Not surprising is the fact that all requests for the book came via Tweets.  No emails.  No phone calls.  No texts.  No knocks on my door.  (Yup I was ready for it.)

The light barrage of Tweets seemed to center around the notion that “if you give me the book, I will grow-up big and strong and fight marketing crimes throughout the world. ”    Then there were Tweets that promised,  “I will make the School of Business look good if you will give me the book.”  (Not direct quotes)

A few Tweets responded with a veiled benefit for others, when in fact, the “ask” was self –serving.

I responded with clues for a few hours, all the while hunting for my Louisville Slugger.

A proper ask is more than an attempt to close a sale.  The ASK must include a benefit for the buyer.  This statement holds true in a mass message as well as a personal attempt to sell a product.

Present the ASK and answer the question, “What’s in it for me.”

* If you give me a copy of the book, I will send you a dozen dandelions in class tomorrow.

* If you give me a copy of the book, I will use the scorecard to help you evaluate your posts.”

* If you give me a copy of the book, I will post your blog on my Facebook account

* Do you want your car washed?  Gimmee the book!

* I will give you a copy of this new CD if I could have a copy of that book.”

A proper ask must offer a benefit to the receiver.  While I wasn’t seeking a personal benefit, I sure wanted to see if my students could write a proper ask.

Perhaps we’ve launched a Twitter Lab for the application of marketing principles.

Stay Tuned.

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