photo by by MarcinMoga / Lolek
Someone just emailed me and asked me a good question (the answer to which will be in my next post). What was interesting is that they asked me the question in such a way that they were pretty much guaranteed a response. Their email went like this:
- Say nice things about my blog and establish a common ground.
- Ask question.
- Finish up with nice thing.
How could I refuse? This is like the sandwich technique of giving advice during speech evaluations at Toastmasters which goes: praise, criticise constructively, praise. Also it taps into social obligation: the emailer gave me a gift of praise, and now I am obligated to give back by answering their question.
So remember this technique when writing to people to ask them questions. I do it all the time at work:
- You are awesome and so is everything you do.
- Can you help me with this?
- Thanks, you’re awesome.
Then I always follow up with a thanks email when they do it, so they’ll remember I was grateful the next time I ask them for something.
Try it out!