I just finished a brand new book called Exactly What to Say by Phil Jones. He shares a couple dozen phrases to use in sticky situations. Some of the most helpful are in the context of following up.
Think about a person you’ve asked to do something. Maybe you’ve asked a donor to make an increased donation. Or asked a community leader to advocate for your organization. Or you’ve asked a board member to talk to a colleague about your nonprofit.
What do you say when you pick up the phone to call them? Especially when you know they haven’t done what you’ve asked them to.
Jones suggests opening with “I’m guessing you haven’t got around to…”
I’m Guessing You Haven’t Got Around To…
Jones says this phrase is perfect to use if you’re afraid of following up with someone who you think hasn’t done what you would like them to do.
He says opening the conversation this way lets the other person save face. It also prevents them from using any of the excuses you think they might use. Now they can’t say, “Well, I haven’t gotten around to…” because you’ve already led with it.
He says people will now have to respond in either one of two ways:
- They’ll feel proud that they have done what you promised OR
- They will be embarrassed that they haven’t and make a new promise to put that fact right.
“By pushing for the negative scenario, you get them to rise to the positive or tell you how they are going to fix the thing they said they were going to do, because most people are people of their word and feel pretty bad when they are called out for it.”
Why not try that in your next follow up calls?
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