Resources  >> When “I Don’t Know” Is The Best Answer

About Vickie Sullivan

Vickie Sullivan is internationally recognized as the top market strategist for thought leaders, professional speakers and B2B professional service firms. Specializing in brand and message strategies in crowded markets, she has helped thousands of talented people outsmart their competition since 1987.

Written by: Vickie Sullivan  |  August 19, 2014

When “I Don’t Know” Is The Best Answer

I am blessed with people who inquire about my services. My high-class problem:  I rarely know what they need from me. So I do the obvious thing:  I ask.

Many conversations go something like this:

Me: Hi! Thanks so much for reaching out. I would love to hear more about your vision. I’ve checked out your site, so I think I have a good idea about what you do. So tell me…what does your next level look like and, in your opinion, what kind of help do you need to get there?

Them: Well, let me tell you first my life story. Back in 1902 I was born…and my parents did this…and then in high school I decided to…so that’s why I’m doing what I do now. How can you help me?

Me:  Ummmm. I have no idea how to help you. What does your next level look like and, in your opinion, what kind of help do you need to get there?

While exaggerating to make a point, I am not making this up. At least half of my conversations with folks go along these lines. My theory: when folks are starting a new venture and don’t know what kind of help they need, they tell a story instead of say “I don’t know.” No one wants to say those three little words.

Sometimes that’s the best answer we can give. It’s our truth and “I don’t know” opens the door for more questions and conversations. We can figure out the answers together. A long-winded life story — while fabulous to listen to — puts us in performer/audience mode but shuts off collaboration.

Just sayin’…

 

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About Vickie Sullivan

Vickie Sullivan is internationally recognized as the top market strategist for thought leaders, professional speakers and B2B professional service firms. Specializing in brand and message strategies in crowded markets, she has helped thousands of talented people outsmart their competition since 1987.