By Alan Graner
Let’s say you’re in a hardware store looking for a doohickey. You ask a salesperson where to find it and he says, “I don’t know, try looking over there.” It doesn’t give you a lot of confidence the store can solve your problems, does it? But what if he answers, “I don’t know, let me look for you.” That makes you feel respected, like the store really cares about you.
You’re talking to your marketing team and ask them what’s the worldwide market for left-handed widgets? You look around at a collection of blank stares. Then, instead of answers, you get excuses. Except for one woman who says, “Can I get back to you this afternoon with that information?”
Guess who’ll get the promotion?
The power of “I’ll find out.”
When you tell people you’ll find out, it:
- Sets you apart from the herd whose most common mantra is “Hey, dude, that’s not my job.”
- Shows people you value them, that you understand the question is important to them, and you’re sensitive to their needs.
- Demonstrates you also value their time, that perhaps you know a faster, better way to find the information then they do, which adds to your value.
- Establishes your reputation as a go-getter, someone who’s proactive, someone who doesn’t just sit around like the other drones with their fingers up their noses.
- Builds confidence in you. Even though you’re not an expert, you have access to knowledge and expertise to find answers, which makes you valuable.
Try this simple test
When someone asks you something you don’t know, tell them you’ll find out. Monitor their reactions to you over time. See if they treat you with more respect, more of a team member, someone they can rely on.
Who knows, perhaps in time you’ll be the one asking the questions.
How do you react to people who don’t know and don’t care?
Alan Graner is Chief Creative Officer at Daly-Swartz Public Relations, an Orange County, CA business marketing content and distribution firm. For content that makes you stick out from the crowd, email Jeffrey Swartz at email@example.com. Or visit www.dsprel.com.