As adults, we have a way of clouding what we ask for.  Comments, implications, hints, and inuendo (of all types) seems to make us feel better than asking outright.  Take a lesson from my kids — they ask, and ask, and ask.  There is no doubt about what they want.  My kid (and I!) went roller blading for the first time yesterday.  Today the first words out of his mouth were, “Daddy, can we go to the rollerblading place again?”  “Yes, son, we’ll go again.”  “Can we go today?”  No doubt about what he’s thinking.  But I get calls from salesmen (and women) all the time who want to talk about the weather and make sure I’m “doing OK” (these are total strangers).  Now, I’ve read the sales books that say people by relationships and not just product, but there needs to be a forum for that relationship, and these people want me to buy, so I’d like to hear that, quickly.  Methinks the world could benefit from some of their directness, although I’d not care much for the repetiveness and it’d be nice to use a little social discretion on when to ask.  But some directness in the adult world would be refreshing.  I realize not everyone will agree.When we are making a sales call, presenting a possible course of action, teaching a course, or even just making a comment in a meeting, the message should be clear.  Our audience should not have to struggle to figure out what we want, or put together a riddle to figure out what it is we are selling/wanting.  And take a lesson or two from kids: you don’t usually get unless you ask.  And no must not always mean no — for they ask and ask and ask.

Make what you want crystal clear.

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