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I remember sitting in Rome one afternoon and I got a call from someone and they actually said to me that, “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.” Now bear in mind this was a Sunday afternoon and they wanted to do it on the Wednesday night. So, that was the entirety of what they actually requested. What I actually did was I leaned 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 the concierge firm is I’ve never given a client actually what they asked for I gave them what they needed, and usually it’s two different things.
So with this, what I wanted to do was I wanted to 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 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’s pretty fantastic. And let’s be honest that is the best location to have an Italian meal. What made it even better was halfway through the dinner. I had Andrea Bocelli come in and serenade them in that dinner.
Now that’s fantastic, its’ 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 story from this that actually bothers me that you need to be paying attention to. See a lot of people say to me, “You get this done because you’re connected. You know how to do this because you can chat with people, you can pull it off.”
So, here’s the story that not a lot of people know. As I sat there and I’m actually sat on one of the pedestals next to one of the lead curators of the Academia. And I never ask a question where you cannot say yes or a no unless I’m willing to receive that answer. Are you willing to put up with the liability of something going wrong? So we’re all set, check’s been cashed, everything’s been done, the dinner is being set up, guests are on route, Bocelli’s there, the piano’s there. We’re all done, we’re all good. So, I’m sitting now and I thought, “Now I can have a little play with the curator.”
Now this curator had given me a bit of friction when I actually first approached to actually do this. So, 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,” I couldn’t risk that. But now we’re sat next to each other and we’re watching them get all set up and it’s a beautiful evening, Wednesday evening, summer in Florence. And I said to him, I said, “Is this beautiful?” He went, “It is Steve, it is.” I said, “Great.” And I’m feeling pretty good for myself, I’d pulled it off even though he didn’t want me to. “So, you’ve done these before?” He was like, “Not like this.”
So by now I’m feeling pretty good, a guy that once gave me friction I’ve now got two yeses and confirms out of it in a row and I’m thinking my ego is about a burst the walls 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.” So, I turn around to him and I said to him, “So, why has this never been done before,” expecting like, “Well, you’re so connected Steve. You knew how to get stuff done. You’re the man.” He turns around and he said, “No one’s ever asked.”
Now I’ve found that that was a running theme. Now of course my ego it just grounded me. It was one of those mic drop moments and walk off and a sulk. I suddenly realized that most people actually don’t get anywhere not because of any skill, not because of any monetary content, not because of any talent, connection, focus, persistence, drive it’s because they lack the one thing that they need to do to get forward is to ask, is to actually start, is to put it out there. Most people don’t do that. In fact, following that night in Florence I went back to a lot of the events and experiences I’d ever done and I was like, “Hey, we haven’t spoken for a long time. Just wanted to find out how you were.” This was a way of me rekindling the relationship, keeping it and going. And I said to him at the time I said, “Why was it that we were able to do it where so many people haven’t?” And one after the other they went, “Nobody’s asked. No one’s approached. No one’s ever come to us on this.”
So my challenge to you is to stop thinking and ask. They always say that a sales person, the best sales person in the world asks for the sale and so that’s what you’ve got to do. If there’s something that you really want ask. The worst thing that’s going to happen is someone’s going to say no and no doesn’t really hurt. But if you ask properly then you can actually get past that. You see never ask a question where the answer could be no or yes. Turn around and go, “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’ve 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.” And 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 naysayer. Don’t be negative. Don’t let other people tell you, you can’t do something. So go forward and say, “Hey, I’m looking at doing this. What needs to happen?” I wish you well. This is me. You know the scoop, share it, tell everyone, tell your friends, tell your mother-in-law, get her to subscribe and I’ll speak with you next time.