So I’m at the gym and it’s time to renew my membership. I head over to the corral where they keep the sales people and there are about six of them lined up, trapped behind metal desks – posed in the various stages of boredom that accompany a rainy afternoon with no ringing phones. I think one was asleep, one was texting, and another one was chatting on Facebook about how Charlie Sheen got a bad rap.

So I’m looking at all six of them trying to figure out which one to pick. With not a customer between them, it was hard to know where to go first. If I went for the white one, someone would accuse me of being racist. If I went for the man, the woman would say I betrayed my gender. If I didn’t choose the one sleeping I had a problem with narcoleptics. Yes, another one of the stereotypical confusing moments that accompany much of my decision making process.

Finally I cracked under the pressure of all of them staring at me like I had wandered into an AA meeting and asked for a beer, and simply stood there stupidly (a pose I have mastered) and said, “Which one of you do I pick?” I didn’t consider that all of them might raise their hands and I would be back at square one again. But that didn’t happen.

Luckily the decision was made for me, when the one in the middle said without hesitation, “Pick me.” And so I picked him. Notice I said “without hesitation.” While the others looked at me like they were scared I was going to give them an enema, this one did not hesitate. He jumped on the opportunity. “Pick me,” he said with all the confidence in the world. I renewed my membership, bought three t-shirts and a tote bag, and am considering making him my personal trainer as long as he doesn’t make me lift anything heavy –  or run – or sweat – or climb. All because he asked for the business. Well, it didn’t hurt that he was cute and had a rock hard bottom. Then again – they all did. So it still proves my point. Ask for what you want and don’t hesitate. Many of us lose in that second of hesitation.

I don’t know about you, but somewhere along the way many of us (especially women) came to believe that it was rude to ask for stuff. Maybe because we grew up with parents who told us to sit, be quiet, and don’t ask for anything unless it’s an emergency – and where my father set the bar on emergency was pretty high. Many of us don’t want to ask for what we want. And we let the sale go to someone else who does. Someone with more courage. Someone who does not hesitate. Someone who asks.

I’m amazed at how many people tell me about a problem they’ve been struggling with for years – and yet never once did they ask for it to be solved.  So think about it. Is there something in your life you want?  A new customer? A job? Forgiveness? To tell Susie to stop posting pictures of her cellulite removal treatments? The money you loaned Uncle Frank to start his Chia Pets for Jesus ministry?  Then ask for it. Most of what we don’t get in life, we don’t get because we never asked for it. Be the one who says “Pick me!”

Now go out there and ask for what you want. You just might get it!

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    Kelly Swanson
    Kelly Swanson is an award-winning storyteller, comedian, motivational speaker, and author of "Who Hijacked My Fairy Tale? How to hang on to humor when life doesn't go the way you planned." She uses hilarious comedy and powerful stories to make people laugh, refuel their passion for who they are and what they do, show them how to see beyond their obstacles, and teach them how to stand up and stick out in life and in business.

    15 Responses to “All Because He Said “Pick Me” – Asking for the Sale, and Whatever Else You Want in Life”

    1. Cindy McManus says:

      From now on I’ll probably laugh hysterically when I look at a group of people and think they are afraid I’m going to give them an enema. If they take me to the nervous hospital because of that, I’m calling you!

    2. Excellent post Kelly, written in an amusing and interesting manner. Much of the secret to success in life is in the art of asking for what you want. Many of us have struggled with this and, as a result, have lost jobs, relationships and many other good things. People are usually willing to fulfill a reasonable request, but only if you make the request. As I have tried to explain to my job-seeking 23 year old son, no employer is going to show up at his apartment, knock on the door and shout, “Come out. I have a great job for you.” Fortune does indeed favor the bold (and the persistent).

      Christopher Ryan
      Fusion Marketing Partners
      Christophner Ryan recently posted…B2B Direct Marketing – Importance of the House FileMy Profile

    3. Thanks Christopher Ryan for your input. You are dead right, and you said it much better than I did. It is a shame that I am 43 years old, have been a storyteller/speaker for about fifteen years, and it wasn’t until LAST YEAR that I realized what was holding me back from the level of success I really wanted to achieve, was the fact that I had not asked for it. Every action I took and every word I spoke or wrote, proved that I carried around the belief that I wasn’t really worthy of charging those kind of fees – wasn’t really good enough to sell myself with pride – never really believed that I deserved to be making what other speakers make. Somewhere in my belief system I had come to believe that it wasn’t okay to ask for big success – that it was prideful. But even God told me that it is okay to ask for what I dream. And you are right when you tell your son that the great job isn’t just going to knock on your door. As a comedian and motivational speaker, I have learned ten times over, that it’s not the most talented who rise to the top, but the most persistent – the ones who get out there and work. You’re a good parent Christopher. Keep it up!

    4. Rupert Whiting says:

      I once heard a saying which on one hand is incredibly harsh but on the other hand is undeniably true: “If you don’t get what you want, you get what you deserve.”

      Nice blog.

    5. Kevin MacKinnon says:


      This article (is it an article? I am so e-confused), was brilliant. I forwarded it on LinkedIn to a couple of groups and people. Fantastic…There are so very many observations wrapped in this simple little everyday experience, that it should serve as a primer for anyone in business, and conversely, any customer…or parents of four year olds…Thank you.

    6. I want someone who lives in the US to go on and tell me if my books are available on Kindle. I can’t access them from Canada as Kindle isn’t sold here yet. Search for Questing Marilyn.

      Thanks Kelly for giving me the opportunity to boldly ask for somethin I want.

      I’d also love to have people buy my books! I write self help memoirs on personal growth through travel.


      • You go girl! That’s how you ask for what you want! Great job and best wishes!

      • Marilyn, I have Kindle on my Ipad and I went into the Kindle store to look for your book. I found your book, but it seems to be offered in book version, not Kindle version. There was a widget that said “request this book in Kindle format” and I did that – just in case that helps you somehow. But it doesn’t seem that you can get your book on Kindle. Unless I did something wrong.

        • Thank you Kelly. That is really helpful. I have been told by Createspace that it is up and I could see it for awhile then it disappeared. I thought it could be because I was in Canada. Now I know that’s not the problem. Off to ask for Creatspace to get the problem fixed.

          • Good luck with that. Don’t you love CreateSpace! I do all my product through them. Wouldn’t do it any other way. CreateSpace rocks! I have a new children’s book coming out at Christmas that we’re doing through them. It will be the first time I’ve done a hard cover book with illustrations. So excited! I have a couple of books on Kindle – but I went directly on to Amazon and published them to Kindle from there. Hope your book is available soon. Let us know.

    7. I really enjoyed your article. We all find ourselves in similar situations and your point is as well taken as it is written. We can all learn from it.

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