ASH AMBIRGE

Author, CEO & Founder

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Do You Suck at Oral? A (Tongue-In-Cheek) Discussion on Why It’s Hard to Ask for Money

In: How to Sell Yourself

My first sales call was the most disgusting thing I'd ever done.

I mean, I don't even like talking on the phone with people I know, let alone people I don't. My love for the phone ended after the 7th grade, when boys stopped calling and AIM instant messenger sank its teeth into our corsage-donning little hearts.

Back then, I was an instant messenger queen. I proved myself through my cat-like ability to manage multiple chat windows at a time AND simultaneously know, down to the second, exactly when Kristian (with a K, you guys) signed in, and then signed out, and then signed back in again. (Wait, did he just go invisible?! Wait, was it because of me? Wait, what if he's talking to LiLBaBe8391?!)

The Buddy List was The Holy Grail. Song lyrics were the ying to away message yang. And that little yellow man—let's just say he took our virginity in more ways than one.

But, that's not the only thing he took away.

For half the people alive, communicating online via chat, message, text or email is the way you talk to people. Why pick up the phone and call customer service when you can hop on their live chat? Why call to confirm dinner plans when you can just text? Why call the girl you climbed Machu Picchu with when you can Facebook message?

And, you know, it's not a terrible thing. (Assuming, of course, you're not an arthritic senior citizen—or Captain Hook.) As a writer, in fact, I love that the written word is the medium of our time. I'm totally the asshole who puts a semicolon in a text message, and I can usually express creativity better in writing, too. For the record, this makes me incredibly sad I was never on Match.com. Just THINK of the missed opportunities.

But, in the same breath, I can assure you that all of this keyboard pounding does have very real repercussions. Frankly, we're getting dumber and dumber when it comes to using our mouths. (Unless there are gravy-dipped french fries involved.) If we thought awkward silences were awkward before, now they're MAMMOTH. We're forgetting how to talk to one another.

Certainly, while problematic in many areas (having “the sex talk” with your kids comes to mind as a fun example), one of the bigger ways the keyboard is handicapping us is around the one thing we had trouble talking about before:

Money.

That's right—money!

You like that word, right? Scrolled right down to this spot on the page, didn't you? That's okay, I like money, too. The problem is that, more and more, we suck at asking for it. Why?

Because you don't ask for money in an email. 

When's the last time you asked your boss for a raise via email?

“Yeah, so, um, hey there, bossman! You think you could hook my paycheck up with a few extra bones?”

When's the last time you pitched a prospective client via WhatsApp?

“Yo, yo, yo client! Cost will be $4200. I'll assume the double green checkmarks mean this bid is approved.”

When's the last time you discussed a rate increase via Facebook Messenger?

“Johhhhnnnnn. My mannnnn. Rate's going up, buddy. Check it out on the next invoice!”

The majority of our most important business conversations happen orally while the majority of our everyday conversations happen in writing.

That means we're not getting the practice we need in order to be able to have the conversations that will affect us most.

The only way you get better at talking…is by talking. Not typing.

However, despite my big gloomy whomp, whomp, whomp rain cloud over here, there is one advantage to the current state of affairs:

Yours.

As more and more people become inept at oral—*wry smile*—that means that your odds just got better. You only have to become slightly more charismatic in order to seem significantly more charismatic.

And that's called opportunity.

And we love taking those.

Because no matter how many pixels have claimed a piece of you, opportunity is still one thing the little yellow man?

Never can.

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“Nobody ever paid top dollar for a cheap imitation. Don’t let somebody else’s business move dictate yours.” I wrote that in our TMF Facebook page yesterday. Here’s why: Keep in mind that the people you’re watching are winging their next move just as much as you. Yet, so many new business owners who are fighting tooth […]

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I hate when there’s an elephant in the room. And let’s face it – we’ve got quite a few elephants roaming around our little online community. One of them is the fact that everybody’s trying to pitch everything, yet nobody knows HOW to pitch anything. For example, the other day we got this unsolicited pitch […]

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You know how when you want to sound professional on the phone, you do that thing where you clear your throat, steady your voice, and then inevitably start talking THREE OCTAVES HIGHER in that sickening sweet, Southern-Belle-esque manner, almost as if you were speaking to a priest, or maybe the sheriff, all while using words […]

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Running a Holiday Sale? Memorize This by Heart.

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So the other day I’m Christmas shopping here in Costa Rica, which is automatically hilarious because, first of all, because they spell “Ho Ho Ho!” like “Jo Jo Jo!” which never gets less funny, and second, because Santa was dressed in a royal blue suit. (I still haven’t decided if this is posh or ridiculous, […]

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Raise your hand if you’ve ever been guilty of making a list of “what’s included” that looks like this: Modules! PDFs! Videos! Audios of the Videos! Transcripts of the Audios of the Videos! Commentary on the transcripts of the Audios of the Videos! A revolutionary new—drum roll— Facebook Group! AND THERE’S MORE! Buy now and […]

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Sep 4

2017

Should You Offer a Payment Plan?

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Yes—but only as a last resort. Put yourself in the buyer’s shoes: that $2,000 course you’re thinking about taking is COSTS APPROXIMATELY THE SAME AS A SMALL HORSE, however—that’s not to say you wouldn’t purchase a small horse (neiiiighhh!) if you could, say, put $97 a month toward the beast in all its glory. Which […]

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Jul 28

2017

If You Don’t Feel Comfortable Saying, “Step Right Up and Try My Milkshake, Folks!” There Might Be a Problem With Your Product—Not Your Confidence

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Small soft chocolate lady was my favorite. She’d arrive in a sand-colored pick-up truck; a small one, I’d say, for a pick-up truck in Susquehanna County. She’d dismount as if she were in a rush, though I knew she was only going back to the grocery store she owned. I’d have her cone ready by […]

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I'm a Bad Influence on Women

Hey, I’m Ash! Twenty years ago I was a small town girl growing up in a trailer park in rural Pennsylvania. Fifteen years ago, I lost my family and everything I knew right as I became the first to graduate college. Fourteen years ago, I found myself leaving everything behind for a new life in the city where I could be “normal.” Ten years ago I realized normal was the most disappointing thing that ever happened to me. Nine years ago I quit my job in advertising and pursued my dreams as a creative writer. Eight years ago, I built a 6-figure business doing what I love using nothing more than the Internet and my voice. And now, today, I’m the founder of The Middle Finger Project, an irreverent media co. that helps other women find their voice and teaches them to use it to build whatever the f*ck they want to. With a book coming out with Penguin Random House in February 2020 (YASSS, WE’RE A PRODUCT IN TARGET!) I’m proud to be a bad influence on women and guide them into doing something disobediently brave with their life and their career.

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