Ask or invite
We are taught early on that when you need something, you ask. Ask for permission, ask for directions, ask for funding, ask for time off. Information is required, and in order to get an answer you must ask a question.
Invitations, however, are reserved for special occasions. To invite is to include and to welcome; an opportunity to further a relationship and encourage dialogue.
Inviting a company to join your cause or partner together builds a different dynamic than a pointed ask for resources and support. Instead of asking clients to buy your product, invite them to take part in a greater story (see Seth’s Permission Marketing and Bernadette’s Story of Telling).
The next time you need something, look for ways to create an invitation instead of a simple ask.