The ONLY way to get someone to do something

22nd May 2018

Communication is supposed to cause something to happen. That’s the point of it.

After all, if it doesn’t cause anything… well, why have it in the first place?

This means every communication should end with a Call To Action.

But most don’t.

Instead one of two things happen:

  • Either there’s no Call To Action. So, if your presentation’s final slide says “thank you” or “any questions?”, there’s no request to do anything. So people won’t. But if your final slide says “Our next actions”, they’re more likely to act
  • Or, people think they give a Call To Action. But they don’t ask for an action. Instead, they ask for a lovely idea

For example, I’ve seen people say things like “so my Call To Action is for you to get more referrals.”

But that’s merely a lovely idea.

It isn’t an action. An action is something where it’s crystal clear what the first step is.

For example, with referrals, the first step is to print off a customer list, highlight your favourite customer’s name, ring them up and ask for a referral.

So, “go get referrals” is a lovely idea. Whereas “go to your computer and print off a customer list” is the action.

This is what I call my Buy Bread Test. In other words, if I have two things to do – sort out my finances and buy some bread, the finances might well be more important. But I’ll buy the bread first. Why? Because it’s easy to start. So I’ll start.

Your next communication should end with a Call To Action. Two questions:

  • Will it?
  • And will you be crystal clear what the first step is?

Action Point

Work out how you’ll end your next communication. Make sure you ask them to do something. And ask so it passes the Buy Bread Test. Using the words “first step” will be a big help – for you and for them.

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