Many people fear that the act of asking for advice is an admission that they're struggling. And since we want to portray ourselves as highly competent and confident -- especially at work -- we often avoid seeking guidance (even when we could really benefit from it).
But new research shows that asking for advice can actually have the opposite effect on people's perception of us. According to a Harvard Business School study, seeking advice in a specific manner makes others see you as more competent, not less.
"The study showed a few specific characteristics that caused the boost in perceived competence," Dooley wrote. "The question had to be in the expert’s domain of knowledge. The issue had to be harder rather than easier to solve. And, a personal request was better than a general one."
So rather than assuming the stance of the expert with your prospects, you might consider reversing the roles, and asking for their advice on how you should think of industry trends or other subjects they specialize in. The simple phrase "Could I get your advice?" might just make you seem smarter in their eyes.
After reading Dooley's article, take my advice and check out five more of the week's best sales articles below.