“Of course, the old foot-in-the-door technique” (Maxwell Smart, circa 1968)


If you want people to do something, start by asking for something easier.

Asking followers on social media to Like and share your blog post, for example, makes it more likely they will eventually be willing to sign up for your newsletter. When they subscribe, it makes it more likely that they will eventually watch a replay of your webinar. When they do that, it makes it more likely that they will contact you for a consultation.

Not just because they learned something from your post or newsletter or webinar, but because they’ve become acclimated to complying with your requests.

Start small and eventually, you can ask for—and get—something big.

The thing is, while it’s better if they actually do what you ask, it isn’t always necessary. Just asking makes it more likely that they will eventually do that or something else you request or offer.

Give your clients some of your cards and ask them to hand them out when they talk to someone with a legal question. If you want a colleague to recommend you to their clients, start out by asking them to share the link to your latest blog post.

Whether or not they do that, when you later ask them to introduce you to their accountant, they should be more open to doing that.

You can start by asking for anything. Ask people to recommend a restaurant or a good book, to tell you which of two headlines or titles they prefer, or to fill out your survey.

The more you ask, the more you (eventually) get.