AMiable Solution #283: Taking the Big Leap
A family I know is preparing to send their oldest two children to college. They’ll both be starting their freshman year. One graduated from high school this spring. The other was set to start her senior year in high school this fall.
The second child, the should-be-high-school-senior, did so well in school that she was given the opportunity to start her college career early. That’s a big accomplishment, but it’s also a big decision. How did she, and her parents, know that skipping her last year of high school and jumping right in to her first year of college was the right choice? How did they decide to make the big leap?
They talked to experts—school guidance counselors, college admissions folks, other students who had the same opportunity. They looked at all the pros and cons, prayed about the potential outcomes in both scenarios, did their research, and made the leap.
If you’re giving your customers an awesome but overwhelming opportunity, or if you’re asking them to make a big change, you can help them make a decision they can live with and thrive with. Here’s how:
1. Give them all of the facts. Good, bad, or ugly, if you want your customers to go all in, you have to lay it all out. The advantages. The challenges. A realistic timeline. Whatever they need to know, give it to them. You want to encourage them, of course, but you also don’t want to mislead them. You don’t want your customers to make a decision now and regret it later.
2. Be accessible. Your volunteers, donors, members, and customers are bound to have questions. Make sure you’re available to answer them. Whether you offer a phone number, a dedicated email address, or a special web page with submittal contact form, let your audience know how to reach you with questions and concerns. Then, be prepared to respond that same day.
3. Be consistent, not pushy. Big decisions take time. Putting pressure on your prospects will likely help them make a decision more quickly—but less likely in your favor. Keep feeding your prospects offers and reminders, but be sure to watch your tone. Positive, informative, and encouraging messages will go farther than negative ones.
Change, innovation, and opportunities can be good for both you and your clients. The more you prepare them for the big leap, the softer their landing, and yours, will be.