24 Apr When you’re asking someone for help, include this.
A client just emailed me asking that a number of their corporate invoices be updated because they already paid. I usually cringe at tasks like this because it would entail going thru a mountain of documents or emails to verify if the payment went thru.
This time was different. In the email, my client was able to specify the dates the deposits were made, the amounts, and the specific invoices which were involved. We were able to resolve and update the records in 5 minutes.
It was… dare I say it… an enjoyable experience. I enjoyed facilitating the update of the invoice payments because I had all the resources and information ready and it allowed me to act on the request.
How does this apply to you?
When you write persuasively (you want someone to do something for you), the most important thing you can do is attach the proper documentation is to get the result you need.
Documentation makes it easy for people to agree to you. Documentation tips the scales in your favor. Documentation expedites even the most complicated requests.
Documentation can take the form of accounting records, screenshots, reports, or other information. Regardless what form it takes, include the format that’s easily digestible. Motive and intention can only take you so far. Even if the person wants to help you, you have to provide complete information which they can act on. For example, if my client failed to give me the particular invoice and the amounts, I would be at a loss on where to start.
So, the next time you want to request something from anyone, do a self-check and see if you have all the documentation they would need to agree with or help you. Only then do you proceed.