Don’t Beat Around The Bush When Asking A Favor
August 31, 2021
I recently needed some help from an acquaintance with whom I had not been in touch for a couple of years.
My message to him went like this.
“Hey Friend, I Hope my message catches you well. I am sure you are surprised to see this message from me out of the blue. I need your help regarding an introduction. I am aware that you know this “gentleman” who is the MD with this large Bank. Would you please help me with an introduction? Please don’t hesitate to say No if there is an issue. I will completely understand if you feel uncomfortable doing the introduction.
Time really flies. I hope you and your family are well. I know you are rocking in your new leadership role. Congratulations on everything you have been doing. We should certainly catch up for a coffee when the lockdown ends…..Regards”
Many people struggle with adopting the right approach when it comes to taking help. I am sure many of you have either received or sent messages that go something like this.
“Hey friend, I haven’t seen you in years. I hope you are well; congratulations on all the success you are having. It’s really amazing to see all the great work happening at your end. We should connect soon. I would love to know more about what you are doing.
Also, can you do me a favor? I am looking for XYZ help…Regards”
If you are reaching out to someone for help, whether through WhatsApp, Email, Phone or in person, start with asking for the help you want upfront and only after that get to the pleasantries.
Don’t beat around the bush. Relationships thrive when there is trust. Don’t invite someone for a coffee or a catch-up if you need some favor. It is better to ask for the favor upfront, and once that is sorted out, go ahead and invite the person for coffee. Doing the reverse will make the approach disingenuous. Imagine someone reaches you with a lot of appreciation and then throws up a request for some help. You will ignore all the appreciation that came before because you know it was all for taking your help.
Post Script: In case you are wondering, my acquaintance helped me out with the introduction and we have a coffee catch up planned in two weeks.