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Need to Make an Ask? Get Face-to-Face!

Need to Make an Ask? Get Face-to-Face!

Want to invite someone to participate in your summit?

Need a review of your latest book?

Ready to bring your new product or service or membership site to the public?

Your initial instinct might be to send a quick email to make the “Ask.”

But don’t let the ease of email fool you! A recent study from Harvard Business School found that when people made a request in person, they were 34 times more effective than when they made the same request via email.

“Asking in person is the significantly more effective approach; you need to ask six people in person to equal the power of a 200-recipient email blast,” writes study co-author and Cornell assistant professor Vanessa K. Bohns.

We think we’re more persuasive via text, maybe because we have more time to mull over our phrasing and perfect our word search. But the non-verbal cues make “all the difference in how people viewed the legitimacy of their requests,” says Dr. Bohns.

The takeaway: If you can meet up with colleagues and influencers in person, make it happen! Get to know them one-on-one, and use the face-to-face opportunity to find out how you can help them achieve their goals… and then make your own ask. (For instance, coming to FreedymFest 2 in September will give you lots of face time with your fellow Freedym fighters!)

Can’t get there in person? Then do the next-best thing and pick up the phone or get on Skype or Zoom. Although these platforms aren’t quite the same as getting together in person, video does provide more connection than audio or text-only.

Sure, it’s also more stress-inducing because you’re in the spotlight and you might worry you’ll say the wrong thing. When you’re sitting across a Starbucks table from someone, there’s the potential you’ll put your foot in your mouth, get tongue-tied, or totally freeze up.

But that’s okay!

Those momentary missteps may actually make you MORE appealing — and trustworthy — than a perfectly crafted email.

Says Dr. Bohns, “It’s worth considering whether you could be a more effective communicator by having conversations in person. It is often more convenient and comfortable to use text-based communication than to approach someone in-person, but if you overestimate the effectiveness of such media, you may regularly—and unknowingly—choose inferior means of influence.”

So suck it up. Get out there. Connect. Ask. It works!

Lain Ehmann of #FastLain is a big believer in the power of in-person connection. As a communication conversion strategist, she works with high-level entrepreneurs to create crystal-clear messaging and content that reaches their audience at the right time, in the right way. Find out more here.

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