Be Explicit

Joe Wilkinson
October 5, 2016
Man walking through an archway with luggage at sunset

The power of being explicit and the risk of being implicit

Information about your company will be conveyed to all potential customers. Your sales staff or advertisements highlight your best aspects. They will naturally avoid talking about weaknesses because they don’t want potential customers to think about your weaknesses. That might work sometimes. Maybe your potential customers won't care about the areas where you are weak.

There is an inherent risk with this strategy. If the customer does care at any level, they will either ask or, more dangerously, assume. The latter part is what can get you in trouble. If a customer is making an assumption, you have just lost control of your message. Whatever assumption the customer made now has become their reality, good or bad.

To avoid this situation, have honest conversations with your customers. Be honest about what you do well. Be honest about what you don’t do well. Be honest about what you are willing to do to overcome weaknesses. This radical honesty will set expectations accurately. Disqualify projects that have long term consequences. Such as projects don’t go the way that your client expects.

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