Your ability to ask for something and your likelihood of getting what you ask for sometimes depends on how you phrase your request. Here are wordings of requests others have found effective. The desirability of using any of these words depends on the situation and your relationship with the client. Also, words that flow naturally from one speaker aren’t necessarily suited to another. Some of these words have been provided in earlier postings and are consolidated here for your convenience.
Purpose: To keep a client talking
Words: Tell me more. Could you elaborate on that? This is helpful. Please go on. Could you give me an example? How do you know that? I’m not sure I understand. And, so? Really? Is that so? What else?
Purpose: To ask for a meeting
Words: I do a lot of work in the [industry or function] area, so it’s my business to know people like you, and I’d like to meet you.
Purpose: To request introduction from satisfied client
Words: Could I ask you a personal favor?
Could I ask you a personal favor? I know that you belong to [an association]. Could I come with you to the next meeting as your guest, so that I can meet the people there?
Could I ask you a personal favor? Peter Smith is your counterpart in the XYZ Division, isn’t he? Could you introduce me?
Purpose: To be seated next to possible client at party
Words: I have wanted to get to know [name] for a long time. Would you consider seating us near each other at dinner?
Purpose: To request intro to person mentioned by client
Words: That sounds like someone I should know. Could you introduce me?
Purpose: To turn conversation to business
Words: I know you didn’t join me for lunch today in order to hear a sales pitch, but that’s actually something we could help you with, if you want to talk about it. No pressure.
Is it okay for me to put my sales hat on for a minute?
Hey, are we ever going to do any business together?
Purpose: To request coaching from a secretary
Words: I want to use [your boss’s] time well, so perhaps you could give me a little advice. . .
Purpose: To start with agreement where there is little
Words: What has occurred hasn’t been good for either of our companies, and it’s in both our interests to get it fixed.
Purpose: To confirm that a client is ready to hire you
Words: So, where do we go from here?
Purpose: To request help without putting client on the spot
Words: Could I ask you for some advice?
Purpose: To ask for advice
Words: Could I ask for a little mentoring?
Do any of you readers have useful words or phrases that you could share?