The Power of Willing

February 18th, 2019 by

The power of willing can really make the difference between a yes and no response.

We use lots of phrases to illicit a response from a prospect. Doesn’t matter if it’s in person, on the phone or via email. Would you like to make an appointment? Are you interested in a free water test? Do you want to save money on your electric bill? Will you make a donation to my favorite charity?

These questions include verbs that characterize the respondent. They assume the respondent is someone who would like to, is interested in or wants to do something. These are yes/no questions. Typically – a yes/no question generates a no response.

How does a single phrase generates response?

Studies have shown that the phrase “Are you willing”? or “would you be willing” can generate a better response.

There was an interview with Elizabeth Stokes, professor of Social Interaction at Loughborough University. She said the word “Willing” works best to bring people to yes in situations where they care about the type of person they are. This also holds true where they’ve resisted doing the things you’re trying to make them do. People are “willing” to say yes to things that make them feel, reasonable or altruistic. It doesn’t matter whether they’re talking to someone face-to-face, or communicating something in writing.

Other examples:

  • “Would you be willing to spend five minutes to help save our planet?”
  • “Would you be willing to sit down with me to talk about your legacy

This simple shift to the word willing changes the emphasis of the question. It moves from what the other person wants you to do to the kind of person they are.

You can turn a no into a yes. Do this by asking your prospect if they are willing to do something, instead of asking if it would interest them. That is the power of willing.