Although it would certainly be nice if other people anticipated (and met) your needs without your ever having to ask, that’s just not the world we live in. Getting what you want is all about knowing how to ask for it without ever doubting that you’ll get it, whether you’re talking about your love life or your professional life.

People respond to confidence and straightforwardness in a big way. Cultivate those qualities in yourself and become comfortable with embodying them, and you’ll have people eating out of your hand. Here are some tips to get started with.

Convince yourself you’ll get that yes.

Your inner vibe dictates a lot about your outward demeanor. When you’re confident, composed, and self-assured on the inside, you stand up straighter and walk taller. You look people straight in the eye when you’re talking to them, and your tone of voice conveys assertiveness. And best of all, people respond to that.

When you walk into situations expecting to walk out again with whatever you want firmly in hand, it shows in a way that’s hard to resist. Think back to the last time it didn’t even occur to you to doubt yourself. Tap into that feeling the next time you need to ask for something you want or need and see what happens.

Ask the right person.

Knowing how to ask for something is only part of the equation for getting what you want. The rest is all about knowing who to ask. Don’t waste your time banking on other people’s potential to deliver what you need. People who get what they want bet on sure things, and they’re experts at sizing others up.

So, consider the person you’ll be approaching with your request. Are they capable of giving you what you want, or are you just hoping they are? Are they motivated, qualified, and reliable? Have you actually seen proof that they can come through for you? If not, then you’re better off focusing your efforts on someone else.

Make your request crystal clear.

People who try to get what they want from others by implying, hinting, and nudging typically don’t get very far, and it’s not hard to understand why. To begin with, people aren’t mind readers. Don’t assume that they can pick up on subtext and somehow intuit what you want because you’re sure to wind up disappointed.

You’ll get exactly what you ask for in most cases, so always be clear, concise, and specific when making requests. Make sure you’re clear about what you want and even more explicit about what you don’t want. Don’t beat around the bush. Just get straight to the point.

Turn on the charm.

Of course, a little finesse never hurts when making requests, especially if what you’re asking for is a tall order. Break down any possible defenses your target might have with an enormous sense of humor and an even bigger smile. Make and maintain eye contact as you speak, letting your natural charm shine through and work its magic.

A bit of creativity can go a really long way, as well. Requests made in a fun, lighthearted, or especially unusual way can help a person open up to a new host of possibilities. So consider your request, as well as the person you’ll be pitching it to. Think about how you can put your natural charisma to work in a way that helps you get what you want.

Be open to making an exchange.

While there’s certainly nothing wrong with accepting someone’s cooperation, no strings attached, it’s never a bad idea to be open to an exchange. Even though few will admit it, most people like for there to be something in it for them when they go out of their way to make something happen for another person.

You can drastically increase your chances of success by anticipating this and preparing for it. Make sure the other person knows what’s in it for them. Show them how helping you also helps them come out ahead. And if you do agree to any kind of exchange, make sure you show you’re a person of integrity and follow through with what you said you’d do.

Be persistent.

Although you might get that yes, the first time you ask, don’t be discouraged if you don’t. Persistence pays off, so don’t be afraid to ask more than once. Be persuasive. Offer to strike a bargain. And if that doesn’t work? Move on to the next promising candidate in the certainty that things will go better next time.

Tenaciousness and perseverance eventually prevail, no matter the situation, so stay the course. Stick to your guns, and make sure you’re choosing your targets wisely. Eventually, you’ll get what you’re after, guaranteed.