The Right Way to Ask for a Favor in Business


These days, it’s very common to ask favors from people in and around your business domain. But sometimes when we are asking for favors from people above our business line, we need to act carefully and wisely. Often times, it might happen that we might put someone in an uncomfortable position and that might affect the relationship between you two.

Therefore, we have some steps for you to go through and keep in your mind before asking for a favor in business:

Be very selective about the people you choose

It is very important that while choosing a person to ask for the favor, you should be very careful about choosing the right person. You want to make sure that the person is reliable and that you have a good rapport with them. Even if you don’t know them personally, you should be able to prejudge as to how they will react to a favor.

You should also be able to understand as to how one would react when asked for a favor. You should be careful to not put them in an uncomfortable position.

Provide the right context for the favor

It’s very important as to how you put forward your request. You need to be able to provide the right context for the request. It’s important for them to understand your favor so that they can act accordingly.

More importantly, you should be able to give the right reason behind your request. Explain your circumstances for the favor as it will give them a better understanding of your situation.

Choose the right mode of communication

It is very important for you to choose the right mode of communication. There are various modes of communication that you can adopt according to the situation:

  • Give them a personal visit if the favor is something urgent or important or if the concerned person is elderly and experienced. You can then in detail explain what your reason is and ask for the favor accordingly.
  • Give them a call if the concerned person is at your same level or if they prefer being contacted over phone than personally. It’s always a good gesture to inform them beforehand and take an appointment as per their convenience.
  • Draft a formal email with all the necessary information if you think they will respond better to an email communication.

Make sure they are aware of a reference

If you have obtained your contact through someone’s reference, make sure you let them know about the reference so that it’s easier for them to relate to you.

Especially if the favor is communicated over an email, make sure to add all the relevant people in the reference column and make sure to keep the necessary people in the loop.

Asking business favors, small or big, it is very important that we do the process is a subtle way than being loud and extravagant about it. If you let the person know the urgency of the favor, they will definitely act accordingly. Hence, make sure to set the right expectations.


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