Asking a Guy with Facial Tattoos for a Picture
Hey, aren’t you that guy from Three 6 Mafia?”
This was my question to a man sporting several facial tattoos and silver teeth in the Minneapolis airport. I wasn’t completely sure if it was him, but I figured there was no harm in asking.
No, but you are.”
His response was said sarcastically with a big smile on his face, and we proceeded to shake hands and take a picture together. After talking with me for a couple minutes, DJ Paul gave me his new mixtape, then went on his way.
My interaction with DJ Paul was brief, but it did lead me to one lesson that I thought I’d share.
Reaching out is never as risky as you think
I’ll never forget making cold calls for a summer internship during college. When I first started, I was nervous.
What if someone asked me a question I didn’t know the answer to?
What if the person on the other end of the phone hated my guts?
After making thousands of cold calls that summer, I realized that it doesn’t hurt to ask for what you want, in sales, in relationships, and in life. Being transparent can have several positive outcomes. Some of these might include bringing forward objections, leading to questions and discovery, or…getting exactly what you want.
In my DJ Paul scenario, I wasn’t making a tangible sale of any kind, but I did want that picture with him, and he wouldn’t have known that if I didn’t reach out and ask him for it.
He could have said no. He could have laughed and walked away. He could have given me the middle finger. But he didn’t, and people typically won’t (this also varies with what you’re asking for and how you’re asking).
So calm your nerves, put on a smile, and reach out. Ask for new business, ask someone on a date, or ask for a picture. To get what you want, you must be willing to reach out and ask for it, and it’s never as scary as you think.
At the end of the day, the real risk is never asking any of these things and wishing you did.