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 before you ask.
It doesn't matter WHAT you apologize for. ANY apology works. Apologize for the weather, apologize that "Breaking Bad" is over, apologize for people who wear blackface on Halloween . . . whatever. Just apologize for SOMETHING.
The 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," 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.
Intern Jen asked a random girl at a bus stop if she could borrow her cell phone then asked her to take a picture of her holding it. . the stranger did, because Intern Jen apologized for it being a cloudy day. SCORE!