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How to get someone to do you a favor
How to get someone to do you a favor

Sure, science still hasn’t found a cure for hiccups or the common cold, but at least now they’ve figured out how to get someone to help you move!

According to a new study out of Harvard Business School and the Wharton School of Business at the University of Pennsylvania, the secret to getting someone to do you a favor is to apologize first.

It doesn’t matter what you apologize for.  Any apology works.  Apologize for the weather, apologize that “Breaking Bad” is over, apologize for all the trick-or-treaters… whatever.  As long as you apologize for something, you’re in.

Researchers found that when a test subject asked a stranger to borrow a cell phone, only 9% said yes.  But when test subjects said, “I’m so sorry about the rain,” and then asked for the phone . . . 47% of people said yes.

Why does it work?  By apologizing, even for something trivial, it gives a huge psychological clue that you’re trustworthy and worth doing a favor for.


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