I know you do this. But please can you check anyway…

4th September 2018

The #1 rule of influencing:

If you want someone to do something, you have to ask them to do something

This means all your communications should end with a Call To Action. After all, if they don’t, people won’t do anything after them.

And the best Calls To Action contain three things:

  1. Their action
  2. Their deadline
  3. What you’re going to do after they’ve done their action (this helps build their momentum and accountability for them doing what you ask)

This means a simple phrase to use at the end of your comms is…

“Please can you do (your action) by (your deadline). And then I will do (my action).”

But most communications don’t end this way:

  • Emails often end with “If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to reply.” So nobody does an action. In fact, they often don’t even reply
  • Meetings: final agenda items are often “Any other business.” So there aren’t any actions. Instead, people just keep talking about stuff
  • Presentations’ final slides often say “Thank you.” Which makes your audience respond with “You’re welcome. Now leave.”

So, adding a Call To Action is an obvious thing to do, isn’t it?

And, as this Tip’s title says, I know you do this. But please can you check anyway. So…

Action Point

  1. Look back – review your most recent communication – at the end, was there a Call To Action?
  2. Look forward – for your next communication – as in the one you’re just about to do – end with a clear Call To Action.

As I say, I know you do this. But please can you check anyway…

Want more Tuesday Tips?

Every week, Andy releases a Tuesday Tip via email and his website, let’s take you back to the archive of tips.

Back to Tuesdays Tips