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Get an instant “yes”… just by adding one word

Tags: Presentations | Meetings | Leadership | Sales | Influencing

31st May

The problem with asking someone to do something?

They might say ‘no’.

In fact, when people want to ask someone to do something for them, they tend to either:

  • Ask a yes/no question, get a “no” and feel disappointed; and/or
  • Dread getting a “no”. So they don’t ask at all

Not good.

But here’s a very simple way to increase your chances of getting a “yes”.

          Just add a question word at the start

For example, imagine you’re meeting with someone, and want to meet them again:

  • If you say “Shall we meet again?”, they might reply “no”
  • But if instead you say “When shall we meet again?”, you’re more likely to get a “yes”. After all, it’s much harder for them to reply with “Never”

So ‘when’ is one of the question words you could use. Others work too:

  • When shall we meet again?
  • Who else shall we invite to our next meeting?
  • Where would you like our next meeting to take place?
  • How should we meet next time – face-to-face or virtually?

You can give them 2-3 options if it’ll help – “When shall we meet again? Later this week or early next?” or just keep it as open and let them choose.

But the Golden Rule: don’t offer a yes/no choice.

And, like all the best techniques, you can use it with lots of situations:

  • Looking to make a sale? Offer the customer two options with different price points, and ask “Here are the two ways we can best help. Which do you prefer?”
  • Wanting your boss to see you today? Try “When’s best for you, for us to have a quick catch-up today?”
  • Want your children to go to bed? “It’s bedtime soon. You can go now. Or – because you’ve been so good today – you can have another 5 minutes if you want. Which do you want?”

So, will you use this technique this morning?

No, strike that. This is much better…

So, when will you use this technique this morning?

Action Point

Use it straight away!