It can often be difficult to ask for a favor. But the most successful leaders and salespeople have learned how to regularly inspire others to help them out and be a part of their team. Here are seven practical tips to help you become more effective at getting what you want from other people.
Mirror their body language
Studies show that people are more likely to feel at ease in communication when the person they’re speaking with exhibits similar facial expressions, gestures, and posture. By making an effort to express yourself in a similar manner, you will be more likely to forge a strong connection.
Fear causes us to retreat from rationality and careful deliberation. If you need a favor, consider briefly frightening the other person and then lifting the fear by asking for something much less anxiety-inducing.
Understand their wants and needs
If you’re trying to make a deal, focus more on what the other person will get rather than on what you will receive. People always prefer not to part with their money, even when they really want what you’re selling. So don’t frame the deal by reminding them first of the only thing they’re going to lose.
Don’t lead with your bias
Nobody likes to be told that they’re wrong. Political discussions often go nowhere because both parties feel that the other person simply doesn’t get it. Even when you strongly believe you’re “right,” make an effort to actually understand their experience. This is similar to mimicking body language. Explore the issue in a nonpartisan way as you slowly but surely walk them toward the conclusion you’d like them to reach.
Become a fast-talker
There’s a reason that some of the best salespeople are known for speaking at a mile a minute. The faster you talk, the less time your partner has to consider any negative implications of your pitch. Fast-talkers are also more likely to appear intelligent. After all, if you can spit out so many words in so little time, you must know what you’re talking about. Right?
Ask while they’re tired
It might sound counterintuitive, but people are more likely to respond positively to requests for assistance when they’re exhausted. When people are worn-out, they have less energy to spend looking for a way to say “no.”
Use your nouns
When people feel that they can “be” something, they’re more likely to comply than if they’re merely asked to “do” something. Maybe the person you’re soliciting doesn’t really want to donate to your cause, but surely they’d like to be a change-maker.