How To Respond When They Say: “I Can Do It On My Own”

How To Respond When They Say: “I Can Do It On My Own”

With six hours to go, I wrote my last word. One final edit plus a few minor tasks remain. The minor tasks always get in the way. They take ten minutes to finish when you know what you’re doing. I always give these out to trusted freelancers. Then it occurred to me:

“Shoot. I never assigned this stuff. How do I get it done?”

A month ago I had a chance to bring on a project manager. I declined. I saw it as a pure expense and one we could do without. Why spend so much money on admin work? I could do it myself and save money. I dropped the ball.

Now, I’m struggling. All this admin stuff slipped my mind while I focused on writing. Sheesh, why did I decide against a project manager? Poor judgment on my part.

Convince Versus Conclude

Here’s the thing.

This experience sold me on the value of a manager. No pitch could have been so persuasive. I needed to experience it myself. I struggled on this project without one. Because of that struggle, I concluded they provide real value. Experiencing life without one forced me into that conclusion.

The Takeaway

No other form of persuasion works as well. In a previous story, I wrote how Herd Behavior leads your customers to conclude how great you are without actually saying it. This gives you another strategy to accomplish the same thing. We call this strategy the takeaway.

Remember one of the golden rules of persuasion. Do not try to convince anyone of anything. Instead, guide them down a path so they convince themselves. The Takeaway gives you another tool to help you do this.

When the Project Management team offered their services I declined. They could have overwhelmed me with benefits, slideshows, and other things to get my agreement. A pitch like that may have convinced me. They would have won. That victory would be short lived.

At the end of the project, I would walk away thinking:

“What a waste of money. I could have done that myself”

Only by experiencing the pain of their absence did I conclude their value.

Exploiting The Takeaway

How can we make use of this strategy for our own efforts?

Brace yourself. This bucks common sense.

Tell them what they need to do. Do not tell them how to do it. Let them go about it on their own. When they struggle to finish the job, they will conclude on their own that your expertise packs real value.

When that happens, you no longer need to sell. They already sold themselves. No other form of sales, marketing or persuasion matches that power.

Does it make you nervous? It makes me nervous. It goes against our nature. You don’t want to lose the sale. I get it.

Most people avoid things that make them nervous. Instead, they oversell and over-entice to get in the door. That’s a recipe for exploitation.

Let them drown a little. Then go in for the rescue.


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