Mastering “how you ask” is an essential school PR skill.
Crafting just the “right ask” is an art.
And there’s scientific research to back this up.
Princeton University published the study.
I probably would’ve missed it entirely – but given the way the Detroit Lions have been playing – I was on the lookout for something exciting.
The Princeton Study was a worthwhile viewing option.
The study zeroed in on what is called the Consistency Principle.
While some of us would describe this as kind of a “fake it ’til you make it” tactic, Princeton defined the principle as our inclination to want to stay consistent with what we think, say, and do – even if we have change things up on occasion.
The research might sound familiar to you.
Only 4% said they would.
A different group of people were called by researchers.
These people all received an initial call that posed “if you were ever asked, would you would be willing volunteer for the American Cancer Society?”
Then three days later, when they received second phone call to specifically ask them if they’d be willing to volunteer for the American Cancer Society, more than 30% agreed to do so
Apparently, a fair number of people wanted to live up to the commitment they had voiced earlier, even though it was totally hypothetical.
The takeaway concerning the consistency principle is this.
There may be an actual benefit to employing a “two call” ASK strategy; one to first establish a general “lean in,” and followed up by a second phone call containing the specific ask later. (the yes or no)
You’ve got to agree that this “two call” approach sure seems to improve the overall chances of success.
It’s weird, but the Princeton Study reminded me of how I tried to use this technique back in my high school days.
For a few weeks during my junior year, I’d get my high school buddies to go up to particular girls in class (or call them up on the phone) to ask each one if “hypothetically, she’d say “yes” to going out on a date with Tom Page if ever he were to call and ask?”
As an early adopter to the Princeton study (well before it even existed), I thought this strategy had “no fail” stamped all over it.
If anyone needed to improve their odds, it was me.
But no such luck.
All of my buddies reported back to tell me I’d be wasting my time making any second phone calls.
Urgh… dang those Ivy League studies, anyway!