An assertive person is a person who thinks proactively and does not wait on events to occur. In other words, they don’t wait to react. They plan and move ahead of anticipated events. Obviously, we all have to react to events that come at us but an assertive person understands that he needs to plan ahead and is comfortable on non urgent matters.
As a result of planning ahead and moving ahead of events, assertive persons have much less chaos in their lives because they took care of it before it arrived. The more you plan and work ahead the less chaotic your life is.
Let me illustrate this point from the perspective of The Service Call Blueprint and the greeting. The greeting is filled with assertive characteristics. Lets look closer.
Tech: Mr Jones, We appreciate your business and thanks for letting us come out. How can I help you today?
Mr Jones: Well, I noticed that my house was getting warm and then I noticed that the A/C would not come on.
Tech: Okay, I can certainly help you with that. Just to confirm, did the office share with you the service fee of $79? (Proactive move) Past experience taught me that sometimes this becomes a problem later so I learned to move ahead and be proactive.
Mr Jones: Yes. I’m good with that.
Tech: Okay, just to let you know so your comfortable with how I do things. I will go and get my tools, take a look and figure out what we need to do to get you going. Once I know… what I would like to do is sit down with you and go over you options. Then you can tell me what you would like to do. Your the boss. How does that sound? (Proactive move) I am moving ahead of the event called the presentation. I don’t want any issues with getting him to sit down so I planned it. I asked for it and I got agreement.
Mr Jones: Sure, not a problem.
Tech: Good. How are you on time? (proactive move) Experience has taught me that often times the homeowner will leave and notify me when I least expect it. So I move ahead of that event too.
Mr. Jones: Yes I’ll be here all day.
Please don’t miss this. The question about time is critical because even though it is rare sometimes they do run off. When they leave you lose leverage because you can’t get them involved visually. Sure you can send them a video or pictures but there is nothing more powerful than letting a home owner hold the front panel of an air handler while they look at the fuzzy growth.
Raising your level for another person’s pain helps them make a decision. Looking at it and holding it makes them feel real pain much more so than seeing a video. Our solution eliminates the fussy growth but at a deeper level it eliminates the customers pain.
Recently, I was coaching a client of mine. He ran a tune up call where he called his client proactively and set up the appointment. Even though the weather was mild, he managed to set appointments by calling his customers and selling tune ups for $99.
His customer is a radiologist at a local hospital, she lives in a big house and has four systems. My client found about $3000 worth of IAQ issues that he wanted to bring to her attention but he couldn’t. The reason being he forgot to execute, “are you good on time”.
As you know it takes three or four hours to do maintenance on four systems. Obviously, his customer did not know this and had to leave. When she got my clients attention he was flustered and quickly presented some ideas which was a mistake. If he had been proactive he would have know and could have planned to call her and set a time to come back and let her see and maybe even hold the fuzzy growth.
He may get this sale and but if he does not it was a very expensive mistake to not ask. It is only four words. “You good on time”?
How many times have you done a beautiful presentation only to hear that they need to talk it over with someone else. Would it not be a proactive move to move ahead of the presentation and ask that question before you present. It’s a real simple question and here is how I used to ask it.
Roger: Mr Jones, I can see that that you have a lot frustrations with your old air conditioner and we have talked a little bit about money and budget and it may be time to do a presentation, BUT I don’t know yet. Many times in the past I’ll do a presentation only to hear that the prospect did not have authority to make a decision and needed to talk it over with someone else.
And I have another concern. Once in the past I designed a nice system for Mr and Mrs Beckham and the only problem was he and I never asked Mrs Beckham any questions, not one. Do you know what happened? After I installed the system, Mrs Beckham called all angry at me because her den was still hot. Do you know how many years her den had been hot? About 30 years. It wasn’t hot to Mr Beckham. Do you know who had to fix it for free? ME.
So, I have a rule. No presentation until I talk to ALL people who are going to expect this new system to work and have authority to say “yes” or “no”.
This is a very proactive and assertive move and may feel uncomfortable. If it feels uncomfortable do it anyway. Fear paralyzes us, but fear is normal. Bust through the fear. Most of what I do today comes easy, but in the beginning I was afraid. Get through your fear, grow and become more.