The answer is NO unless you ask

In early January I pulled into the circular driveway of a ritzy resort in Santa Barbara and I wasn’t sure if I was going to stay or not.  I left my car keys with the valet guy and he asked, “will you be staying sir.” I had no idea.  He said, “you may self‐park and you don’t have to use valet.“Perhaps it was my indecisive comment or maybe my standard uniform (shorts and flip flop) that didn’t fit in at the ritzy resort.

In the past few years I’ve discovered the joy of taking unplanned mini‐vacations. While doing that, I’ve walked into many hotel resorts without reservations or even an idea of the pricing.  I was alone on this trip and didn’t really need anything fancy, but I had already decided I wanted an ocean view where I would do my annual goal planning ritual for 2010.

I walked in and was immediately quoted $275 for a terrible view, $301 for a garden view, and $410 for the ocean view, I previously decided I needed. I wanted to stay for a night or two so I quickly did the math and decided over 800 bucks probably wasn’t worth it.

I shot out with I’ll stay two for nights if you give me the ocean view for $230 per night. I have no idea where that came from, but it seemed like a good starting point. I’m sure she was rather annoyed by my outburst, but she took a moment and pretended she had decision making power and quickly replied “ok.”

Well that was too easy. I wasn’t at all satisfied because she said yes way too easily.  So I asked if they had an internet connection in the room, because I had work to do. “Of course, for $19.95 for 12 hours,” she replied.  “I’m sure you can throw that in too, can’t you?“With it worded like that, how could she say no?  But she did draw the line when I asked if the $25 per night valet fee would be covered too.  Finally I was satisfied; I had hit the real limit.

I’ve been saying “The answer is no, unless you ask” for so long that I don’t remember where I first heard it.  Maybe I even coined it.  It’s one of the most important traits that will get you what you want in life. For some reason, we live in fear of rejection or of some societal norm that says we’re not supposed to ask.  Forget that!

Life is too short to live in fear of the opinions of others.  Besides, those people will probably envy you for having the courage they lack.  Ask every time and all the time. More often than not, the answer will be YES!

Photo: stevoarnold

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