Anticipate the response
Last week I sent out a promotional message with each of our client invoices. The gist of it was, "We have this service we think you might like. Would you like to learn more?"
While most clients would not respond, I knew a few would.
A few did. I received three responses saying yes, they'd be interested in learning more. And do you know that I had no specific plan of how I would respond to those responses?
Silly, right? I asked a yes/no question and hadn't spent a moment anticipating what I would do if they said yes. Would I send an email asking them a few questions? Would I send a document outlining the service? Would I schedule a call? Would I invite them to a webinar? I didn't have a plan at all.
I've seen this happen to other people in personal conversations a lot. Inviting someone out without any consideration of where or when they would go. Asking someone's opinion but not being prepared to hear the answer. Asking a question, appearing open-minded, but then getting mad when the response isn't what was expected, shutting down future conversation. Sending a text message, receiving an immediate response, and taking a day or two to write back.
Don't ask the question if you're not prepared for the response. Prepare for what you will say or do if they respond one way, and what you'll say or do if they respond in another. You'll save yourself time and frustration.
Anticipate the response.