Entering the corporate world in my 20’s was an interesting and eye-opening experience. Having owned a few businesses already, I had an entrepreneurial approach that was extremely helpful to me, but often clashed with what some of my managers expected from me. One of those clashes involved a manager telling me this:
Never ever, say to a customer; “I don’t know”.
I absolutely refused to follow this advice and the conversations that followed with my boss were not pleasant. I wasn’t fired, but he was clearly unhappy with me!
Here is much better advice. When a customer asks a question that you don’t know the answer to, the best answer is this:
I don’t know, but I’ll find out!
When you do this, you are telling the truth and operating from a position of integrity. You are also making a commitment to get an answer. When you follow through and get back to your customer with an answer, you are demonstrating your reliability to follow through on your commitments.
Never forget that building long-term relationships based on trust are critical to your success. Demonstrating your integrity and reliability will go a long way towards establishing trust.
There is another very important dynamic to this. The statement; I don’t know, contains within it the seeds of learning. Freelance Writer Michael Kwan has written an insightful article titled ‘You’re Allowed Not to Know Something’. I highly recommend that you read this fine article.
Gil and son Andrew – By Gil Namur – All Rights Reserved
First posted at synaptici