I’ve always heard that “it doesn’t hurt to ask” as incentive to take initiative with others. But I’m not sure that is true. In fact, I disagree.
Recently, my insurance agent helped me when my homeowners policy doubled in cost. Even though she could not locate a cheaper policy, she continued to help coach me how to negotiate with my existing carrier. She went “above and beyond” to tell me what to expect and how to counter to their responses.
When that transaction was over, I felt deeply indebted to her. I resolved to myself to give her all my future business when my policies needed to be renewed.
That lasted until two days later, when she passed along my name to her co-worker. He then contacted me and tried to use that goodwill to get business from my employer. After responding to their multiple requests for assistance…I now consider us to be “even”. I no longer feel any indebtedness to her or her agency.
If you ask others for a favor…even if you provide the opportunity to decline…you are trading on a sacred trust. Over time, that will cost you.
This is true when you:
- Ask a customer for a referral
- Ask your spouse for a back rub
- Ask a volunteer to serve at church
- Ask a friend to borrow a yard tool
The only solution is this: Give more than you take. Invest more often than you need. Make sure the relationship has a large, positive balance before making a withdrawal.
Thanks for listening.