“Get Them To Do You A Favour!”

I was lucky enough to attend The Infinite Group training session yesterday. The business advisers were focusing on the wonderful opportunities for retiring business owners gaining a good price for their business thanks to the help of Luminar International supporting a management buy-out.

One of the biggest aspects of engineering a deal is how well you negotiate. It was pointed out at the TIGs seminar, negotiation is just another word for selling. When you are negotiating with decision makers, it’s important to ask questions so that in giving you answers, they reveal to themselves how much they need you.

Apart from all the other good stuff in selling like getting to the “Yes,”, I came across a beautiful piece of insight thanks to Benjamin Franklin via 59 Seconds . This is an excellent self help book by Dr Richard Wiseman that charts how to improve yourself doing simple tasks and increase your happiness, persuasive ability and confidence in relationships based on scientific research. The insight was this:

To encourage others to like you, ask for their help.

When someone has done a favour for you, they tend to feel much warmer towards you. I remember a study into young children that examined what happened when the child was encouraged to give something to another. The study found that they demonstrated a greater liking for the child to whom they had given something such as a toy or some food. They also were observed to dislike children when they had accidentally hurt or upset them.

Benjamin Franklin needed to gain the co-operation of a difficult member of the Pennsylvania State Legislature. He knew that this man owned a rare book in his private library. He went up to him and asked whether he could borrow this book. The man agreed and duly handed over the book which Franklin returned a few days later. The next time they met, the man was very civil and afterwards went out of his way to help Franklin. Ben Franklin said, “He that has once done you a kindness will be more ready to do you another than he whom you yourself have obliged.”

So to get people to like you and do things for you, ask them a favour. People love to be asked and will think well of you in future.


About anrah

Anrah is a business development consultancy specialising in helping senior women in engineering and science, their teams and doctoral students increase 'presence', improve communication and generate impact to win stakeholder buy-in at the highest level.
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