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Daily Nuggets: A For Impact Blog

A Trick That’s Not A Trick


I was asked to give a one-hour talk last Friday for our local Nonprofit Day here in Colorado Springs. Since I was supposed to be the inaugural speaker of a new “fundraising track” for the conference, I went right to the point” “Just ASK: The Ask as Dialogue.” It was going really well. They were actually doing some of our practice drills within the hour! But I got greedy. At the end of the talk, I tried The Card Trick. ( (If you have been to our Live Experiences, you have probably seen The Card Trick. If not, well, I think you’ll get it if you read on.)

The method — and teaching point — of The Card Trick is this: ASK a question. LISTEN to the answer. THINK about the response. Repeat until you get to your GOAL (i.e., the card that a volunteer has selected but only you know). To me, this demonstration captures the idea of The Ask as Dialogue.

The “trick” went fine. I got them to the 7 of Diamonds. The problem was that I ran out of time to process the trick sufficiently. The thing about The Card Trick is that it is not a trick! It is a transparent, authentic DIALOGUE. Done well, it seems magical. Why is that? Maybe because we have such dialogues so seldomly? Fodder for another blog. The point here is that I needed to process the trick with them enough that they understood — and remembered — that we are not tricking anyone in our sales process. We are simply “forging a human connection,” as Bob Burg says, toward a goal: IMPACT.

This is what we do in a SALES DIALOGUE: Ask the right questions. Listen — really listen — to the answer. THINK for gosh sakes. Then, ask another great question.


Just ASK!