Whether you are asking for a job, for an interview, for an investment, for a personal loan, for free advertisement, or for a shout-out from somebody, how you ask is so important. You are the one asking for the opportunity, which means the other person has something you want, and that person also has all the power not to give it to you. So, ultimately, you shouldn’t focus on your pride or how much you feel entitled to something—you should focus on how you make the person who has the thing you want feel. No matter how qualified or deserving you are, you never know what agenda the other person has. You don’t even know what constitutes “qualified” in their eyes. You never know how many other people to whom they owe a favor, who would likely get this thing you want first. So, tread…not lightly but…consciously. Here are the right and wrong ways to ask for an opportunity.
Wrong: Pointing out their weakness
“I noticed your company struggles with this and I can help.” Immediately, the person is turned off because the first thing you did was criticize him or her. It also feels here as if you are selling something and that’s not honest—you’re asking for something.