Wednesday, May 07, 2008

Do Not Assume Your Friends Know How To Help You

Assumption is the killer of so many great things. We assume someone doesn't want to talk to us, so we do not approach them. We assume a prospect is happy with our competitor so we do not go after their business. We assume that those around us fully understand and support our goals, dreams and aspirations, thus we never tell them how they could be of assistance. On and on and on and on.

I love the old line from the classic 1970s movie "The Bad News Bears". Anyone who is now around forty-years-old fondly remembers the original Walter Matheau / Tatum O'Neal classic baseball flick where the coach tells the team of misfit ballplayers "never to assume anything" as he writes the word assume on the chalk board. Then while circling the parts of the word he tells his little leaguers that "when you 'assume', you make and 'ass' out of 'u' and 'me'".

Make sure that you communicate with those around you and take the time to be sure they know what motivates you. I am find that those who comprehend what I do in my job are quick to make referrals to the company where I work. Those who know I speak professionally will often hire me to come into their company or recommend me for a keynote at a conference. If these friends did not know details about me, my company, my books, my speaking, etc.... they would never have the ability make such a big difference in my life.

Look around at the people in your life -- do they know what you need to reach for greater successes? Are you sure? Or do you assume that they understand all they must to know to make a life changing introduction for you to a client, prospect, referral source or other partner who could have an impact on your future?

If you do not tell people about yourself, who will. I am not suggesting you brag, but you need to promote yourself or you will suffer by being "the best kept secret in your industry".

Many times people think that if they just do good work that others will praise them to all they meet. Most likely not. Doing good work is just cost of doing business. Look around, your competition does good work too (I know, you hate to hear that, but they most likely serve their clients quite well or their customers would already be calling you!). Never assume that your prospects know you exist. Just because they have heard of you once a long time ago does not mean that they will remember you when the time comes to buy your products or services.

Take control of making sure that people remember you at those critical times when they can buy or make a referral. You have to take responsibility for cultivating your professional relationships and making sure that people know how they can help you. Trust me, people want to help you succeed, they just need to better understand how help.

Have A Great Day.


1 comment:

Al T. said...

Excellent post Thom.
Your advice is especially important if you are in a job search: do you have a crisp description of what you do and what you are looking for such that you can explain it to your spouse, family, friends, neighbors and they can understand it? Are they even aware that you are looking (I would hope your spouse does!)?
As you say, if you don't tell, no one else will!