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Edition 73 – Stop “Thinking” When You Believe

I’ve been working with one of my good, long standing clients for the past 12 months and we’ve been looking at what is happening in the business in terms of sales. You see, they took on a new staff member to replace one that was leaving after four years and the rate of sales conversion has dropped through the floor.

This is a professional based business and the new staff member had full contact with the customer throughout the initial consultation period. The new person was technically competent and seemed to have a personality that was friendly and engaging. However, the owners of the business couldn’t put their finger on it.

So, in our monthly Profitable Growth Endurance meeting, I suggested that the owners sit in on the client appointment with the employee. They did and they found out something quite startling.

This employee was into “Thinking” and not “Believing”. He was into telling the customers that he “thinks” they should do something, not being firm and direct with the advice that he was giving.

Now, the way I see it, if you express the term “think” when you are dealing with your clients, supplier and employees, it implies you are wishy-washy. It says to me you have an idea what someone should do, but aren’t necessarily prepared to commit to it.

I, on the other hand, am certain this person should have been saying “Believe” – not “Think”.

If I am looking for an opinion or advice, and you tell me what you believe is right for me and my situation, I will feel more confident in the advice that you have given me. I will feel that you have given me an answer that I can respect, implement and monitor.

Now, if you don’t know, admit to not knowing. However, also commit to finding out. I’d rather someone tell me “I don’t know but I’ll find out” rather than “I think”, which could lead me down the wrong path.

My point is this. Your customers, your suppliers and your employees don’t want to hear your “thoughts”. They want to understand your “beliefs”. They are looking for answers, not options. They want simplicity, not complexity. If you are holding yourself out to be an expert in your field, then thinking is a sure fire way to, at best, upset that person and, at worst, lose their confidence completely.

Are you thinking, or are you believing?

This Week’s Tip

Take note of your language over the next seven days. Listen to how many times you say “I think” and aim to replace it with “I believe” or “I’m certain you should”.