How to Get What You Want

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Scenario: "Dude, I want to interview the most badass marketer in the world. I tell her: 'Yo, I need an interview!' But, she won't respond to my inquiries. Ahh!" To understand why that doesn't work, peep this:

Flashback: You're 16. You just got your license. You want a BMW.

The Convo With Papa:
  1. You: Papa, I need a freakin' sweet ride!
  2. Dad: No! Take your brother's Pinto.
  3. You: But I want a BMW.
  4. Dad: It's too expensive. Go away.
  5. You: Ahh!
End of conversation. Quiz: What would've improved your chances of getting that BMW?
  • a) Papa, I'll run away if I don't get that BMW.

  • b) Papa, I need the ride now, you cheap-butt mutha %^@*$&!

  • c) Papa, I need the BMW because the German auto provides smooth handling, arrow-like electronic stability, responsive engines, and iDrive controls to ensure I'll be in one piece -- safe and sound when I arrive home after volunteering with the city's children hospital.
If you answered C, you're a sexy b*tch because you're correct. (You're an current_entity.official badass of the Trizoko Fan Club.)

"But dude, why is C correct?"

C is correct because one simple word empowers the sentence -- that word: "Because!" By using "because", you drastically boost your odds of getting what you want. You can bother people all you want with your best words; but to really influence people, they want freakishly genuine reasons why you want what you want. (And they'll see right through you if you're lying. Rule of thumb: Always -- always! -- be genuine with your reasons. Manipulative people suck!) Why does "because" work?

It's in the Mutha Lucka Research.

Harvard Psychologist Ellen Langer, who is not nerdy, conducted a study on how giving reasons for requests influenced people:


[Harvard's] librarian shut down all but one of the photocopy machines in a busy wing of the library. This quickly resulted in a long line behind the single operating photocopy machine.

Experiment: Request + Reason

Over the course of several days, Langer had confederates approach a person at the front of the line with a request to "cut" in line. The confederate's request was carefully worded in three different ways. In the first condition, the confederate said, "Excuse me, may I use the Xerox machine, because I'm late to class?" The form of this question, request + reason, resulted in a 94% compliance rate.

Experiment: Request - Reason

In the second condition, a confederate asked, "Excuse me, may I use the Xerox machine?" The structure of this question, a request followed by no supporting reason, resulted in a much lower compliance rate of only 60%.

"Cool! I'll need some examples for my business!"

We hear ya. Some examples to get you on the right path:
  • "I want to meet with you because I feel I can boost your sales."
  • "I want to interview you because I admire your passion for your business."
  • "I want to negotiate the price further because my business's sales have hit a quarterly slump."
  • "I want you to finish the work by tomorrow because I'll need to see the Boss."
And, if you're a single fella/lady and want to get a free night out this weekend, use in sequence:
  1. "I want to date you because I feel we have a lot of things in common."
  2. "I want you to pay for dinner/movies because I have no money."
  3. "I want you to drive because I can't afford gas."
It's genius. (Just kidding.) To boost your chances of getting what you want:

Give a freakishly genuine reason why you want what you want by using the magically sexy word: Because.

Have a great weekend, y'all! p.s. A's rule!

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Posted on October 06

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