Just Ask.

A few days ago, I spoke with a sales person on my team and asked them “How much does the client spend on AWS now?”

He answered that he did not know.  I asked him why he did not ask that question in his last conversation and he replied that he thought it awkward.  I said I agreed the ask would feel uncomfortable, but that did not make it inappropriate or wrong.  This situation reminded me of something I often find in both professional and personal life, people shy away from questions that make them feel uncomfortable.

Asking, more often than not, does not damage relationships (if done nicely), the worst outcome entails receiving an answer you do not want.

Below are both personal and professional examples of places to practice “asking”:

  • Refunds or new items for a product that didn’t work
    • Rent the Runway shipment late? Amazon late?  Ask for a refund (partial or full). Often, subscription businesses don’t want to lose or anger subscription customers since you provide repeat revenue.
  • A hotel upgrade
    • “Do you have any complimentary upgrades available”
      • Even without status, if the front desk knows the room won’t get used that night, they have no incentive not to please a guest– even one without status
  • An earlier or later dinner reservation
    • Book a time on Open Table and call the restaurant to see if they can take more/less/same people at an earlier/later time.  Often by securing the initial reservation, the staff wants to help the person they know will dine at their restaurant soon.
  • A hard client question
    • “How much do you spend on XYZ now?”
    • [Insert here] Any question that gets you more information that will help you do your job better in serving your client

So, if you take anything away from this quick read.  Next time you think you can’t ask for something you want (information, refund, upgrade), ask.

In the comments section, would you please add something you think our community should start asking for? 

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Just Ask.

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