One thing at a time


The number one on the back of a fire truck from station one in Eugene, Oregon. By drcorneilus

CC: drcorneilus

People don’t listen. In general. But you might get them to remember one thing. That’s why it’s always important to have a clear message about your product. Where it really comes into play though is in your direct communication. When you meet someone in person, you can see or confirm that they understood you correctly. When you talk to them on the phone – you can ask. With e-mail, twitter and other forms of written communication – it’s harder. I noticed that people seldom read e-mails from start to end, so this is what you can do:

  • always put important stuff in bullet points
  • if it’s more than three – you missed the point
  • ask for one thing – and only one – at the end of the message

This will give you two important results:

  1. People will actually start doing what you ask them to do
  2. You will build continuous relationship with them

Getting an email from someone with a bunch of requests quite often ends up in a ‘to-do-later’ bin. However, if you give people small actionable tasks – you will make them more eager to work with you, but also it will create an impression of your relationship moving forward and being fruitful.

So remember – one thing at a time :)

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3 comments on “One thing at a time
  1. Nivi says:

    Even better, ask at the beginning and ask again at the end if appropriate.

  2. You’re right Nivi – I do believe that the end is more important, as it creates the ‘call the action’. However, stating the purpose at the beginning of the email is crucial if the message is longer than a couple lines. This way they actually get to the end of it, even if they just scan the contents (that’s where bullet points help).

    Thanks for the comment :)

  3. Judith says:

    Yes I agree it is good to start with a purpose and you are right only ask for one thing at a time… If I don’t know what the message is about at the beginning I never read the whole especially if it is long!!

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