When I ask for a favor, I usually start by saying, "Hey, I could really use your help with something, and I thought that you would be the perfect person to ask. Can you please <fill in the blank>?" By starting with a bit of shameless flattery, this usually (but not always) helps my cause.
Some other ways to ask for a favor.
- "Hey, I have a big ask for you. I realize that I'm requesting a lot here, but I thought that you might be able to help me out with something."
- "Would you be willing to do me a HUGE favor? . . . Okay, well here's what I'm thinking . . ."
- "Hey, remember how last year I <shoveled out your driveway / gave your car a jump start / lent you some money>? Well, today I was hoping that you would help me out with this thing I have going."