Come up With a Reason Why Should They Help You
Most of my tips are geared towards asking someone for something. But Tip 1 has good general advice, and the next one, the last one, will too. Back to the tip …
Come up with a reason why the person should do whatever it is you’re asking of them. This tip is tricky for two reasons. One, it isn’t always necessary. You don’t need to give a friend a reason to help you. People who are asking me for help with friends or relatives who were murdered don’t need to give me a reason (but they would do well to follow the other tips). You’ll have to decide. I sometimes do this if I’m emailing someone who is a total stranger and if I think they won’t be inclined to help me.
Two, if you do it in a clumsy or ham-fisted way it will backfire. Don’t overstate it. Don’t say anything like “You’ll get rich!” or anything else you can’t convincingly prove. Don’t be pompous, like, “you’ll be making the world a better place.” Saying something really, genuinely honest is usually the way I go. If it sounds self-serving that’s not good, but it’s almost unavoidable sometimes, so if I’m being self-serving I acknowledge that in some way.
But if you can’t come up with a reason why they should help you, imagine what they’re thinking.
Finney checking out Buddy eating and wondering “what does he have?” Buddy invariably has something better because I’m trying to fatten him up, and Finney, unfortunately needs to lose weight.