Persuade people to act IMMEDIATELY

12th September 2017

I only have two things on my To Do List:

  1. Sort out my finances – they’re a mess
  2. Buy some bread

The first of these is more important.

But I’ll buy the bread first.


Because it’s easy. I know how to start it. So I’ll start. Unlike with those pesky finances…

And it’s the same when we’re giving actions to others.

       Unless they know where to start, they won’t.

But, very often, the actions we get/give aren’t easy to start. For example, I’ve seen many conversations like this:

     Boss: So, the action for this week – get closer to our customers

     Team (excited): We will, Boss!

     Boss (one week later): So, did you get closer to our customers?

     Team: Er… not yet, Boss, no

I’m sure you recognise this sort of thing. Despite everyone’s best intentions, some stuff just doesn’t happen.

And one reason for this is that “get closer to customers” isn’t an action. Instead, it’s just a lovely idea. As are comments like ‘Live our values!’, ‘Be more proactive!’, ‘Get more referrals!’, ‘Improve our reputation!’

Fortunately, it’s easy to turn ideas into actions:

       Ensure they know how to start.

And you achieve this by being clear on the first step. For example, the Boss could have said:

  • So, this week, I want us to get closer to our customers
  • And the first step of this is for you to contact three of them, ask how we’re doing, and how we can improve our service
  • So, please can I ask you to print off your customer list, choose your favourite three customers, give them a buzz, and ask them these question? (people agree)
  • Great. Please bring their responses to next week’s meeting. We’ll discuss them – and agree the best way forward – then

See how it works? “Get close to customers” is an idea. “Print off a customer list and highlight three names” is an action.

Right, I need to pop out to buy some bread. While I do that, here’s my action for you…

Action Point

  • Look in today’s diary
  • Identify the first meeting you’re attending
  • Identify what you want people to do after the meeting (the ‘ideas’)
  • For each of these ideas, identify the first step they’ll need to take (the ‘actions’)
  • During the meeting, share these ideas/actions, so that people agree to do them
  • Diarise to follow-up a few days later, to make sure they’ve done it

These bullets are much more useful than me saying “implement this week’s Tip”. After all, that’s just a lovely idea.

And for thousands more actions – ones you can use instantly – check out my online video club. Here’s a video showing the first steps to working a room when you’re networking.

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