There are lot of times when we can save a lot of time, effort, energy and eventual success, happiness if we were to Just Ask.
Somehow , we humans have – an ego – which causes us to feel that if the person whom we are asking refuses, then we will lose face or somehow people will make fun of us….etc. Since the human brain was designed to protect us, it ascribes all kinds of meanings to even small things. While I am preaching this, there are a lot of times, when I myself don’t follow this advice and then later wonder, what if I had just checked out.
I will give some real life examples of how by just asking – the persons got what they never thought was possible.
My colleague and I were coming back from Mumbai. Its a 2 hour flight to Delhi. You have to generally arrive at the airport about 3 hours before departure. We were travelling in a full fare airline, so they were providing us with snacks, coffee etc. Since were travelling in economy class however we were only getting a limited set of options in the food and drinks.
Both of us were in aisle seats, in the same row. The stewardess asked me for coffee / tea and I took my coffee. However my colleague did not take anything. After the stewardess had moved away from our row, he asked me if they didn’t serve juice. I was not sure so I told him “why don’t you just ask and you will come to know”. The good thing about this colleague of mine is that he generally takes my advice. So he asked the stewardess when she passed by him again.
And guess what – she said they don’t have it in economy class, but she will check in the first class and come back. In ten minutes my colleague was sipping fruit juice enjoying himself. But he would have not got it if he hadn’t asked.
In another situation my technical team mentioned that they had seen multiple options and the cost of taking licenses of a specific software were close to $14000/- for annual purchase. But we only needed to test our software so spending that kind of money didn’t make sense. So I asked on the minimum duration that would help them if I were to somehow get the licenses – so they said 2 weeks.
I then asked my colleague who handles the relationship with this software partner , to fix a short call with their product leader. Incidentally she had already set up contact with this person earlier and I had noticed that he was a helpful person. Luckily this person was available , he immediately responded back and we met on Zoom and I asked him if he could help.
Once more – we got the license to test our application with their software free of cost for a full month. The key thing about humans – is if you are kind to people and ask them in a pleasing way, most people will like to help.
My mother used to say the two most important phrases in the English language are “thank you sir/ma’am” and “if you can please”. It does not mean that your requests will always be accepted, but if you don’t ask, anyway it will not be accepted. By asking you are giving yourself a chance to play and find out.
We will look at the implications of this for marketing / product management
Till next time then….just ask….and you never know….