The magic trick of ASKING
There are so many things that you can change, alter and upgrade to make your business that little bit more successful. However there is one thing you can start doing straight away, that doesn't really give you extra work, but it works extra hard for you and your business. What is it? It is the magic trick of ASKING.
To some of you reading this, you will be confused and annoyed that I am telling you that asking can help your business. But I found out through helping others improve their businesses that one of the main things holding people back from getting their hustle on, is that they are afraid to ASK! If you are not afraid to ask people for their opinion, help, collaboration or to buy your product and services, this post isn't for you. But if you are sitting there reading this and realising that you are afraid to ask for things, help, or sales, then keep reading.
In the 80's there was a movie about a baseball field. The quote was used all the time "if you build it, they will come". That quote used to be true for business. You would open a bricks and mortar shop and people would walk past and come in and sometimes buy things. If you created a new product you will create the prototype, go to a trade show and sit at your stand for three days and wait for the wholesale buyers to walk buy and order it. These days, if you start a shop, online or bricks or design a new product there is no more that solid straight forward understanding that buyers are going to come. Thanks to the internet and social media the customers feed and online life is FLOODED with brands and stores and services. Playing the sit and wait "if you build it they will come" doesn't work anymore. The new thing that works is ASKING.
The hurdles I have come across for people asking are:
1. I am afraid they will say NO
2. I was taught as a kid it was rude to ask for things
3. I don't want to be pushy
4. I don't know how to ask or what to say.
1. Afraid they will say NO
If this is your worry: look at NO like a numbers game. If you ask 100 people and only 1% say YES, that is 1 yes. You could have ask no one. You'd have no sales. If you asked 1000 you have 10 yes. Over time you'd assume your conversion rate will get higher than 1% and over time you'd realise every NO is one step closer to a person who is going to say yes, according to statistics. Try not to take no personally, but try use it to gain more information, try find out why they said no. See if there is a trend in the reason people are saying "no" and alter your services and product if you think most of them as saying NO for that reason.
2. I was taught it was rude to ask for things.
As women I feel that walking up to someone we don't know, or sending a video out into the internet world to people we have never met can somehow feel wrong. It's probably your upbringing. I was taught to be quite to say thank you and not make a fuss. This is a hurdle you need to adjust. You need to remind yourself that you are in fact possibly helping this person by offering your service or product to. You might in fact be solving a life long problem they have been struggling with. By offering your service or product or by asking if they want to see what you have to offer, you may in fact change their lives! That is the point of most peoples brands, to help solve a problem. So go out there and remind your inner child you are not creating a fuss you are helping people.
3. I don't want to be pushy
Don't be pushy. You should never be pushy. But you need to put yourself and your brand out there so people know you exist If someone asks you a question and you answer them "no", it is only pushy if you keep asking. However in saying that you might rephrase your question a few months later and re ask in a differing way. If you ask the question and people are undecided, you can keep asking until they say no. I kept asking David Jones to stock my brand for 4 years before they finally said yes. If I had stopped because I didn't want to be too pushy I would have never been in the store. No one likes a pushy sales person, it just isn't done like that anymore. But asking a question isn't pushy.
4. I don't know how to ask or what to say
If you are in the world of hurt when you go to pick up the phone or start writing an email or record a video, I am here to say, I feel you. I have a tip for you. I don't over think the first time I speak. I have a few dot points of my main hook or question and then I have a practice run. If it is a video I just have a go, if it doesn't work I delete it. 7/10 it seems ok and I go with it. If you are across your brand, if you are passionate about what you do, when you step over that giant hurdle of not knowing what to say, you will find you will just start blurting out all the great things about your brand and will not be afraid to ask the question, wether it is will you buy it, stock it or collaborate with me. So I guess my tip for you is, try not to over think it, go with your instincts and rely on your wealth of understanding and passion about your brand. Tap into that and watch the passion spread like a good infection to the person you are talking to.
I know I have made this magic of asking mostly about sales and promoting your brand. But this Magic of Asking can apply to anything. If you see someone on social media who really inspires you or would be a great fit for your brand, JUST ASK. They might say no, they might not respond, but at least you asked. If you did that 100 times when you saw something that was the right fit for your business and you only had a 1% success rate, you would eventually get a yes. Imagine if that 1 yes was from the buyer you've always wanted, the influencer that has 1 million followers or the dream situation you've always dreamed of. GO OUT THERE AND START ASKING!
xoxox Bossy Mummy