No One Ever Asked

I remember sitting in Rome one afternoon and I got a call from someone and they said to me, “Hey, are you in Italy at the moment?”, And I said, yes, I was. And they said, “well, we want to have a high-end restaurant in Florence”. I said, okay, fine, fair enough. This was a Sunday afternoon and they wanted to do it on the upcoming Wednesday night. That was the entirety of what they actually requested. What I actually did was arrange something a little bit different. As I’ve often said in business, when I’m dealing with clients and with the clients that I’ve dealt with in my concierge firm is that, I’ve never given a client actually what they asked for. I gave them what they needed and usually that is two different things.

What I wanted to do was see how amazing I could make a meal in Florence. So, I went down to Florence on the Monday, looked around, and we actually took over the Academia. Now, the Academia is the museum that houses Michelangelo’s David. Now, come Wednesday night, the client actually went through Florence in a horse drawn carriage, turned up at the front doors of the Academia, banged on the door, much to the annoyance of his fiancé, only to have the doors reveal open a red carpet with petals on it, lead all the way through to the Academia and at the end of it, a table of six sitting at the feet of Michelangelo’s David. Now that’s pretty spectacular. That was pretty fantastic and let’s be honest, that is the best location to have an Italian meal. What made it even better? Halfway through the dinner, I had Andrea Bocelli come in and serenade them in that dinner. Now that’s fantastic. It’s one of my all-time stories. I absolutely love it because there’s no way in the world, a brick layer from east London should be sitting in the Academia with Andrea Bocelli after taking the whole thing over. But this is the part of the story that bothers me, and I want you to pay attention to. A lot of people come to me and say, “Oh, you get this done because you’re connected or you know how to do this because you can chat to people, you can pull it off”. This is part of the story that not a lot of people know. As I’m sitting down on one of the pedestals, I’m next to one of the lead curators of the Academia. I never ask a question where you can answer yes or no unless I’m willing to receive that answer. I’m not willing to put up with the liability of something going wrong. So, we’re all set, the checks been cashed, everything’s been done, the dinner has been set up, guests are enroute, Bocelli’s there, the piano is there, we’re all done. We’re all good. So, I’m sitting there, and I thought, now I can have a little play with the curator. This curator had given me a bit of friction when I first approached him to do this. I didn’t want to actually have too much of a conversation. In fact, I made sure that when I spoke to him, it was brief. There was brevity in our communication because I didn’t want the opportunity for him to go, I don’t want you doing this. Couldn’t have missed that. But now we’re sitting next to each other. It’s a beautiful evening, Wednesday evening, summer in Florence. I said to him, “Isn’t this beautiful?” He said, Amen. It is Steve. It is. I said, great. I’m feeling pretty good for myself. I’d pulled it off even though he didn’t want me to. I looked over at him and asked if he had done this before. He was like, not like this. So, by now I’m feeling pretty good. You know the guy who once gave you friction, I’ve now got two yeses and confirms out of it in a row. And I’m thinking, this is brilliant, and my ego is about to burst the walls out of the Academia. So, I’m going in for the final rub. I’m thinking, this is what’s going to make me feel really good. I turned around to him and I said, why has this never been done before? Expecting him to say, “well, you’re so connected, Steve. You knew how to get stuff done. You’re the man”. He turns around and says to me, “no one’s ever asked”. I have found that was a running theme. Now, of course my ego was crushed, it just grounded me. It was one of those mic drop moments or walk off in a sulk. I suddenly realized that most people don’t get anywhere, not because of any skill, not because of any monetary content, not because of any talent, connection, focus, persistence or drive. It’s because they lack the one thing that they need to do to get forward. It’s to ask. The one thing to actually start, is to put it out there. Most people don’t do that.

After that night in Florence, I went back to a lot of the events and experiences I’ve ever done. I reached out and said, Hey, we haven’t spoken for a long time, I just wanted to find out how you were. This was a way to rekindle the relationship, keeping it going. One by one I would ask each one the same thing. I wanted to know why we were able to do so many amazing experiences that no one else has ever done. One after the other kept saying the same thing, no one ever asked.

Now, I have a challenge for you. I want you to stop thinking and just ASK. They always say, the best salesperson in the world asks for the sale. If there’s something that you really want, ask. The worst thing that’s going to happen, someone’s going to say, no. I know it doesn’t really hurt. But if you ask properly, then you can actually get past it. Remember, never ask a question when the answer could be no or yes. Turn around and say, Hey, I’ve got a passion, I’ve got a dream, I’ve got a situation. What needs to happen for this to occur? That’s entering into a communication. You still got the point across that you want something, but you’re now asking, what are the steps? Help me out here. I need to be doing this. Instead of saying, can you help me, say to them, what needs to be done for us both to win in this situation? Ask yourself to success. Please go out there. Don’t be a nay sayer, don’t be negative. Don’t let other people tell you that you can’t do something. Go forward and say, Hey, I’m looking at doing this. What needs to happen?

To hear more from Steve Sims

Website: Steve D Sims
Book: Bluefishing

To listen to this podcast: No One Ever Asked

To subscribe to Steve Sims, “The Art of Making Things Happen — Podcast”

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CEO of Taste of BLUE/Author/Entrepreneur/Speaker

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Steve D Sims

Steve D Sims

CEO of Taste of BLUE/Author/Entrepreneur/Speaker

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