Getting Specific

Jonathan Pritchard

I've traveled all over the world for work.

Sometimes I rely on my client to arrange my ride to/from the airport which can be a nightmare.

Too often the person giving me a ride would show up late, full of apologies.

Years ago I was sharing my frustration with an old timer, and he gave me a genius tip.


Him: Are you telling them to be there at 2:15, or 3:30, or some other kind of whole number time?

Me: Yeah.

Him: That's your problem. It's not specific enough. When it's 2:15, the person picking you up can talk themselves into believing it's an arbitrary time and not feel the obligation to get there on time.

Here's what you do instead.

Tell them to meet you at 2:17pm. Not 2:15. Not 2:20.

2:17

Here's why.

It's specific. When you tell them the precise time, that's weirdly specific here's what they think:

"Ok, there's gotta be a reason it's 2:17. I don't know why, but I better not miss it. I have to be there by then, for sure."


Once I started the “overly specific” approach to scheduling, it greatly reduced the number of late encounters.

Booth Invitation

Here's how it applies to your exhibition.

Almost everyone who is exhibiting at a trade show will send out an email that says something along the lines of:

"Come see us at the booth!"

But it has the same problem as 2:30. It's too general. Feels like it's a standard invitation that gets sent out to everyone.

Instead, try inviting people to the booth at an exact time.

"We would love to see you at the booth. I'm reserving time to speak with you at 2:17pm on day 2 of the conference. Please RSVP to let me know to expect you."

It's seems silly until you try it, and see how effective it can be towards driving interest from potential clients.

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