How to Get What You Want
Almost anyone is more likely to respond to a request when she thinks she herself will benefit from it. So to be persuasive, dangle an incentive. For example, if your neighbor’s barking dog bothers you, give her the name of a trainer that you’ve used in the past and say, “She may be able to help you, as well.” And while you’re making your case, try to reduce your use of self-referential pronouns (I and me) in favor of you. That way, you’ll sound more concerned with the other person’s needs than with your own.
Erik Gensler is the president of Capacity Interactive, a digital-marketing consulting firm in New York City.