3 Simple Golden Tips To Asking For Favors

how to ask for a favor
Photo: Danielle Zeigler

How do you get everything you want in life? Well first you ask. Everyone needs help from time to time. Nothing great is ever achieved alone yet many women struggle when it comes to asking for help or favors. Studies have shown that people like you more when you ask them to do things for you yet so many women insist on doing everything for themselves. Needing help is not a sign that you’ve failed or that you’re weak. There is nothing wrong with asking for help especially when you really need it. Keep in mind that you’ll only get what you need when you’re willing to ask. Here are three steps to making the process a little easier on you.

3 Simple Tips To Asking For Favors

#1 – IDENTIFY YOUR NEED
In the best seller ‘Never Eat Alone’ by Keith Ferrazzi he explains how to use your network to achieve your goals. In his step-by-step process he suggests to first identify your needs and match them with the person most adept in helping you. There is a difference between what you need and what you need someone to do. When identifying your needs start with the end goal in mind. What is the ideal outcome that you’re striving to achieve? For example, if you’re asking a family member or friend for money, first pinpoint exactly what the money would be for.
Ask yourself if there is any way to achieve the goal that you haven’t thought of? Brainstorm numerous ways that the problem could be resolved. Sometimes we are so focused on our limitations, and the problem at hand, that we also limit our ask.
By coming up with various solutions to the problem, you might discover that more people can help you than you realized.

#2 – DO YOUR RESEARCH

Once you’ve identified your need and you believe you know who to ask for help, it’s time to do some research. When it comes to asking for a favor you might not have a relationship with the person that you need to ask. If this is the case, doing your homework on this person will allow you to establish the best approach for reaching out to them.
Determine their contact preference. Do they prefer to be called, emailed or met with in person? What is their schedule? Are they able to complete your favor without taking time away from other commitments? Lastly, you want to determine if they’re likely to provide you a service. Have they done these favors before? Who else have they helped in a similar situation? Even if you’re asking someone you know, like a colleague or former employer, doing your research can help you to feel prepared and confident before you ask for their help.

#3 -BE CLEAR ON HOW THEY CAN HELP YOU

Never ask someone if they can just help you. The answer is probably yes but if they’re willing, is a different story. When asking for a favor you must be incredibly specific about what you want to accomplish and what you need them to do.
If you don’t know how someone can specifically help you, don’t expect them to figure it out. Be clear on what type of help you need and how the other person can provide it. Walk them through the steps of how they can execute the favor and what it will do for you. If you need a recommendation explain in detail what the job is, what key points they should mention and where they should send the final product. Explain if it needs to be emailed, printed out, faxed, scanned or notarized in order to be helpful. Our temptation is be vague in hopes that the other person will view it as ‘no big deal,’ and happily oblige. This tactic can back fire leaving you without the help that you desperately need. The details of what someone can do for you make it clear to them what’s expected and if they’re capable of helping they likely will. Don’t undersell your favor if it will be more work than the person expects but don’t oversell and make it seem overwhelming.
When asking for a favor, explain in detail what you need, when you need it and how the other person can deliver it. The more specific you are the more likely you are to get a yes.
If you’re still hesitant to ask for help, just remember that doing for others is something many of us enjoy. If we have the ability to help someone in need most people will kindly do so. It might seem intimidating to ask but once you do it will be worth it.

This article is written by Miss Solomon a dating expert and founder of TheDatingTruth.com. She offers advice and coaching for single men and women committed to building stronger relationships. 

Featured Image: Istock/Getty

2 Comments
  1. This is a very important subject and it is not just women that have trouble asking. I recently read a wonderful book on the subject by Amanda Palmer called, “The Art of Asking.” I am still working on getting more comfortable with asking for help, but these tips should be a great help.

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