Yesterday I got schooled in how to get stuff done.
I consider myself to be a fairly nice, reasonable person. I go out of my way to help other people and I’d rather work really hard to accomplish something myself then “bother” someone else to get some help. Well, I hit the breaking point on one project. I was completely frustrated and reached out to my friend Eric Greenspan from 74 Marketing to get some help. He didn’t have time to fix my issue, but what he did do was write an email for me. He started with a compliment to the company. He then made a request in a polite, clear and simple manner. He made it as easy as possible for the company to say Yes. Then he ended it with “would this be possible”? A few hours later, magicians at LiquidWeb had not only fixed my issue, they came up with a better solution, and they did it without charge.
What was his secret to getting things done quickly and better than I could have done?
- Ask Nicely. You never know who is going to read an email that is sent off asking for help. Most likely it is a gatekeeper of some sort. They may not be well paid, they may be having a rough day, and they might just rather be somewhere else doing something else. If you can add a spot of sunshine to their day, everybody will be better off, guaranteed.
- Be Clear. How many times have you gotten an email with a request, which then generated 3 additional rounds of emails because the requester wasn’t clear with what they wanted? By the time you finally understand what they want, your annoyance is somewhere on the scale from slightly to very. You’ve spent a bunch of time figuring out what they want, and you’re not inclined to want to spend even more on helping them. Or you might implement the PITA** charge.
- Work with the best and recognize greatness. You get what you pay for. You will rarely if ever get greatness from a discount provider. You should get greatness from the company that charges a premium. If you don’t, ask for it. Nicely.
- Your time is valuable doing what you do best. Could I have eventually figured it out? Yes! But it would have been countless hours first learning how to do it, then doing it, then fixing rookie mistakes. As an accountant, I joke that if a business owner tried to keep their own books first, they double the charge for me to fix them. I’m taking this lesson to heart and saying that if I want professional results, I need to get the professionals to do it and stop trying to do it myself to maximize my efficiency and effectiveness.
** Technical term for persons who are a pain in your backside.
Have you tried this approach with similar results? Tell me about it below. Ready to bring in a pro? Contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.