Someone asks you to schedule a meeting that you really want to have. You want to be accommodating and flexible because you REALLY REALLY REALLY want this person to like you and do business with you.
You tell them to name the time and place and you will be there. You are asked to write a testimonial for someone. Not knowing all the applications they may use it you say something generically positive and then offer people to contact you for more information.
Someone asks you who your best customer or target market is. You don’t want to miss an opportunity so you detail out all of the possibilities.
In each one of these cases, the intent is a good one. BUT, the end result isn’t what you want at all! Committing to things shows confidence, commitment and strength so let’s redo these.
You are asked to schedule a meeting. If you present several options of days and times, you are simplifying things for the other person. Imagine if you said “name the time and place and I’m there” and then the one time they pick is the one time you can’t change your schedule? If you give them several times and none work, they will tell you. Responding with information keeps things moving FORWARD vs. stalling.
If you are asked for a testimonial, ask where they will use it. LinkedIn is a very different application than in an application for a business award (which is what triggered this post, by the way). Offering to talk further is nice, but in the business award review that I did last week, I was trying to get through a packet of deserving nominees on a Saturday morning. I certainly didn’t have time to call someone to hear something substantial. So say something real – not “they have great customer service” but something that describes how their service is wonderful or what they do. Then, send it back to the person and ask for their feedback. If there is something they want to add or change, they can let you know!
Finally, when asked who you want as a customer, no one assumes you have one type of customer when you answer this question. In fact, there are many people who like to think in terms of “yes, but” so those people will look for other markets for you. If you identify one to three types of customer, it will help the conversation move forward and you will get to talk about others later. Giving a clear answer helps the other person know what you need and can start thinking of referrals!
Failure to commit can feel like you are doing the right thing, but actually, hides your confidence. And everyone loves confidence!