Celebrating the 7th Anniversary of LeadingWithQuestions.com

To mark the 7th Anniversary of LeadingWithQuestions.com we are releasing my new free eBook “Now That’s a Great Question!” You can request your free download by clicking “HERE!”

As part of our 7th Anniversary Celebration this week we are sharing 5 excerpts – one each day – from “Now That’s a Great Question” – Today sharing:

Have you ever extended an invitation/request of any kind via letter?

• An invitation to invest financially?
• An invitation to help with a special project?
• An invitation to join a team, group, or committee?
• An invitation to attend a special event?

If you did not receive any response what did you assume?

Did you assume that they opened your letter, read your invitation/ request, and after careful  consideration decided that they needed to decline?

BIG MISTAKE!

Let me ask you more questions:

  1. Do you open and read every letter you receive? If “no,” what % of letters that you receive do you actually open and read?
  2. Do you ever open a letter, glance at it for a couple of seconds, and then say to yourself, “I need to look at this later,” then lay it aside—with good intentions—only to forget about it?
  3. Would it be far from the truth if I guessed that you—like me—don’t have time to open every letter you receive and that you—like me—frequently don’t get back to the letters you do open and lay aside with good intentions of reading later?

Big question: If someone sends you an invitation via letter that you either didn’t open or that you laid aside with great intention to read later, only to forget, and therefore never made a decision about their invitation—why would you conclude, when you don’t receive a response, that those you extended an invitation to actually decided to decline your invite?

BIG MISTAKE!

Most likely, you have already come to the same conclusion—yes, you sent the letter—but they either did not open it or they laid it aside with good intentions but promptly forgot and therefore they did not make any decision!

So what did you do then? Might you have done what I did? Mightyou have picked up the phone to give them a call so that you could move your request to their frontal lobe where they could actually make a decision?

So when you got them on the phone (and that is no easy task) what did you say? Might you have said, “I am following up on the letter I sent you”?

What happened when you said, “I am following up on the letter I sent you?”  Did they respond with:

  • Silence?
  • “Don’t think I saw that?”
  • Or, if you sent it to their home might you have heard them covering the mouth-piece and calling out to their spouse, “Hey did we get a letter from (your name)?”

The reality is, even when you made the follow-up phone call, you shot yourself in the foot by sending the letter first!

BIG MISTAKE!

How do I know?

I wish this weren’t true, but for years (I am a very slow learner) I kept doing this. I even added a handwritten note on the bottom of the letter stating, “I will give you a call in the next few days to find out
your decision,“ only to discover that almost everyone was unaware of receiving my original letter!

I kept shooting myself in the foot by sending a letter and then following up via phone, only to hear that they had never seen the letter!

I no longer extend important invitations or requests via letter. Instead, I get them on the phone and extend my invitation ear-to-ear!

Maybe you’re thinking, “Sounds nice, but people today just don’t answer their phone like their Grandparents once did.”

Or maybe you’re thinking that leaving voicemail messages is also a BIG MISTAKE because so many people no longer listen to their voicemail messages. Do you?

So how do I get people on the phone? I’m glad you asked!

THE MAGIC TEXT

Would you like to know how you can get the people you want to talk with to actually call you?

These days, when I have an important invitation to extend to anyone, I begin by sending them, “The Magic Text!” (which I discovered in Michael Maher’s book, The 7 Levels of Communication.)’

Here is my “Magic Text”:  Hi (their name). (My name) here. I have a quick question for you. Can you please give me a call at your earliest convenience? It is not an emergency—but as soon as you have a couple free minutes, please give me a call. My number is XXX-XXX-XXXX. Looking forward to hearing your voice!

Warning: Your phone will start ringing almost immediately—so you would be wise to space out the sending of your “Magic Texts.”

Why does this work? Although many people are no longer listening to their voicemail messages or reading all of their emails, almost everyone still reads their texts!

EXTENDING YOUR INVITATION

They are now on the phone with you! What do you say?

People are busy so they appreciate you getting right to the point.

Here is what I say:

  • Thanks for calling!
  • I have an invitation/request I want to extend to you.
  • But before I do, there are two things I want to say:
    • Our friendship is not on the line!
    • I do not want to put you on the spot for a decision. I want to extend an invitation (share a request) with you, but you then can have the time you need to give this your thoughtful consideration.
  • Outline the request.
  • Offer to follow up your phone call with an email that shares all of the specifics.
  • Wait for their response:
    • 10% usually immediately say, “YES!”
    • 10% usually immediately decline.
    • 80% say “Yes—please send me that email.”
  • Ask, “Can you help me by letting me know your decision by (specific day)?” They almost always say, “Sure.”

And the surprising thing is, when people request for you to send them a follow-up email, almost all of them actually read your email and respond as promised!

None of this is high-pressure! But the high percentage of “Yes” responses will amaze you! By simply making sure that everyone you are wanting to extend an invitation to has actually heard your invite and then come to a decision, the percentage of “Yes” responses is likely to be 10 times higher than if you had relied on your letter invite alone!

If you’re wondering, “How about using email to extend an invitation or make a request?” That’s a Great Question!

In a her guest post on my blog, Vanessa K. Bohns, Assistant Professor of Organizational Behavior at Cornell University, shared that research has shown that, “A face-to-face request is 34 times more successful than an email.”

You have just read the “Chapter 29” from “Now That’s a Great Question.”  You can request your free download of the entire book to read the other 29 Chapters by clicking “HERE!”

If there was something you could do to increase the Leadership Effectiveness of all those in the shadow of your influence both at work and at home would you do it?

If so, then today is their lucky day!

You are invited to join the “Now That’s a Great Question Launch Team!”  As a “Launch Team Member” you will receive “Shareable Copy” that you can post and email that positions the opportunity to download the “Now That’s a Great Question” eBook as a gift from you.

It’s a Win/Win!

Your Friends Will Win by increasing their leadership effectiveness x 10 both at work and at home as they move from leading by telling to leading with questions!

You Win!  Because it’s coming from you – you will be the one they will be thanking for gifting them with this great new resource,  helping them grow as leaders at work and at home!  And you will be the beneficiary of a deepening relationship with all those in the shadow of your influence!

Please click “HERE” to join the “Launch Team!”  Then be looking for our emails with your shareable social media and email copy that you will be able to simply “Copy – Paste – Post/Email.”

Special Bonus:  in appreciation of all “Launch Team Members” who commit to sharing on social media and to emailing a minimum of 200 of their colleagues/friends/clients/prospects we will send you the printed version of “Now That’s a Great Question.”  The printed version is not available for sale – only for “Launch Team Members!”  (Offer to send the printed version is available for U.S.A.

Bob Tiede

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Bob has been on the staff of Cru for 47 years. He currently serves on the U.S. Leadership Development Team and is passionate about seeing leaders grow and multiply their effectiveness. Bob and his wife, Sherry, live in Plano, TX and are blessed with 4 incredible children and 6 remarkable grandchildren.

MORE RECENT POSTS

6 Questions To Ask Your Students On Day One

Guest Post by Howard Pitler It’s that time again – time to think about that very first day of school and...

The Paradox of Persuasion: Shut Up

EXCERPTED WITH PERMISSION FROM CHAPTER 24 OF “THE ART OF PEOPLE – 11 SIMPLE PEOPLE SKILLS THAT WILL GET...

Three Simple Questions to Sharpen Your Goal Setting Skills

Excerpted from Chapter 16 of “Now That’s A Great Question.”     In the 50’s the...

At 63, Bill Gates says he now asks himself these 3 questions that he wouldn’t have in his 20s

Guest Post by Marcel Schwantes “These would have been laughable to me when I was 25, but as I get...

Why Should Leaders Ask Questions?

Guest Post by Sandy Chernoff Many leaders hesitate to ask questions because they fear it might make them...

The Power of Influence

Note from Bob:  I was recently privileged to be Mark P. Fisher’s Guest for two episodes on his...

The Power of Asking Questions: 7 Ways Questions are More Powerful Than Answers

Guest Post by Ken Downer How can asking questions be more powerful than answering them? In the effort to...

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.