Have the Courage to Simply Ask
Chief Revenue Officer for Beasley Media Group, Inc
Just having the courage to ask for what you want is often all you need to do.
For those other occasions where it may take a bit more finessing, I have some tips to try. Recently, I was at a Dolphins game and my girlfriend wanted to get her husband a plastic cup. Apparently, plastic cups are held hostage at certain stadiums and while she asked nicely she was denied the cup. She in turn came to me and asked if I would “work my magic.” That made me laugh. Working my magic meant I would go up to the people at the counter and get them to give me the cup. No problem. Here are a few tips I fall back on when I am asking for something in order to get what I want:
Tip 1: What you have the courage to ask for is what you will get.
In life and in the stadium, you will only ever get what you have the courage to ask for. Why not ask for whatever you want. If you don’t, someone else will and you will be bummed out they got the cup that you could have had.
Tip 2: Get your confidence up and your mind right before you approach the opportunity.
Before I walk into any ask, I get my mind right. For me that is channeling Beyoncé’s Sasha Fierce. Nothing is going to knock me down, I am on point and I have got this. You need to do the same – whatever way works for you. Listen to music that fires you up, think of a time when you achieved something beyond your dreams; Grab onto that feeling and let it shine through you.
Tip 3: Never underestimate the power of a friendly smile.
When you approach a stranger with a big powerful smile, it is hard not to smile back. Then you have opened the door to the conversation.
Tip 4: It’s all in your approach.
When you walk up to someone you don’t know you need to be friendly and be your authentic self. For me that is being very upbeat and optimistic, for you it could be cracking a joke or giving a compliment. Be yourself and put your best foot forward to make a quick connection.
Tip 5: The vibe you put out is usually what you will get back.
When you are standing tall, smiling and open to meeting others you get back that same attitude. Make it clear that you are there to introduce yourself and bring a good vibe to the conversation.
Tip 6: Get used to standing in the uncomfortable.
Once you have asked directly for what it is that you want, in this instance the cup; you may need to wait for a minute while the other person thinks about what they are going to do. When things get uncomfortable some people walk away or decide they are not getting a yes to the ask. Power through this time by smiling and saying nothing. Let things play out before you respond.
Tip 7: Being relentless doesn’t have to be a negative.
Once someone comes back to me with a reason why they may not be able to do what I have asked, I quickly say something like, “I know you can do this!! Come on, I am sure there is a way we can make this happen.” Often, people are so taken back by this they quickly give you what you have asked for. The whole time you are remaining positive and friendly which is important.
Tip 8: Never leave with just a no.
If you have truly done everything above and you keep getting a no then you need to kick it up to the next level. I would suggest saying, “I know that you can’t make this happen but is there someone that can? Is your boss able to do this? Is he/she here?”
Tip 9: Be ready to pivot.
Conversations can take a turn in any moment and you need to be ready to laugh or ultimately meet with a manager that might be annoyed you called them over. Be ready for anything and have fun with it.
Tip 10: Practice makes perfect and you have nothing to lose!
The most important thing to remember is that you didn’t have the cup when you entered the ask and if you ultimately don’t get it you will live. But the reality is if you practice these steps, over time you will become an Ask Ninja and people will start asking you to get their plastic cups. Be careful what you ask for!