April 18, 2015
This week I went to MicroConf in Vegas to meet up with some friends and gain some actionable advice for my businesses. (It was awesome, you should go next year.) While I was there, I spent quite a bit of time with my friend/colleague/co-conspirator Kai Davis. And I watched him hustle.
I watched him strike up conversations with perfect strangers, rapidly learn their life story, then steer the conversation toward how he can help them out, and often sell them on his services on the spot. And people thanked him. This was an entirely positive engagement.
So I asked Kai, “How are you doing that? How do you keep hustling?” And he told me one of the best pieces of advice I heard that weekend. He said, “Kurt, I’m always asking the next question– the question that gets me one step closer to my goals.”
That’s when a lightbulb went off. He’s not hustling people, he’s just asking them about themselves because he’s genuinely curious. Everyone loves talking about themselves.
So a series of questions might go something like this:
- “What do you do?”
- “How is that going?”
- “How do you get customers?”
- “Have you tried outreach?”
And that’s when Kai can now talk about his own outreach services.
Rule #1: Ask questions to build relationships.
Rule #2: Ask for what you want.
Two days after the conference, I noticed a tweet from Shopify (I’m a Shopify wizard, that’s my bread & butter) where they had featured a Shopify designer’s work for a Kickstarter success story. I thought, “that should be me… wait, why not me?” so I asked. And you know what happened? They replied in minutes and we set up a feature.
When you start this, you’re going to have to ask questions that make you uncomfortable. If you want to succeed, you’re going to have to push your comfort zone to its breaking point.