You can dramatically increase your chances of getting to ‘yes.’
They show up.
In-person requests are 34 times more successful than email. Researchers Vanessa Bohns and Mahdi Roghanizad say, “we found that people tend to overestimate the power of their persuasiveness via text-based communication, and underestimate the power of their persuasiveness via face-to-face communication.”
Why is this a problem? Most of us are wasting our time. We invest energy into drafting and perfecting email pitches that would be significantly more effective if delivered in person. This problem perpetuates because we think our shot of getting to “yes” is about the same. But judging from Bohns’s and Roghanizad’s research, it’s not.
In the early stages of any professional relationship–when generating leads, applying for a job, seeking investment, or building partnerships–we might not have a choice. Email might be the only option. However, too often we forego opportunities to meet with people in person when we could, with just a little extra effort.
Why? One primary reason is we believe we can cast a wider net with email. Email also reduces the perceived risk of being rejected to our face. And, frankly, we’re a bit lazy. Email is just easier. However, the numbers are compelling. For our biggest priority projects, offers, and requests, an in-person request is much more likely to lead to engagement and a positive response.
So, what can you do today to get more positive responses?
Go through your to-do list and flag any requests you’re planning to make to further your business. Identify the ones you care about most. Ask yourself what it would take to convert this “ask” to an in-person visit versus an email.
The answer likely won’t be easy. It might require more time invested in upfront networking and relationship building, raising your confidence, or even buying a plane ticket. Whether you’re willing to take these steps depends on how much you want to increase your chances of getting a “yes.”