Have you ever let an opportunity pass you by because the timing was never right? Is there something that you wish you could do but it just never seems like the right time? Hesitation is one of those things can either prevent us from making a decision that wasn’t well thought out or allow us to procrastinate our dreams away.
There’s a sales tactic related to timing that many people use to pressure potential buyers into purchase something they’re hesitant on. They say things such as:
- If you had waited until you could have afforded the perfect wedding, you would have been too old to enjoy your honeymoon.
- If you had waited until you could have afforded your dream house, your first house would be in a retirement community.
Yes, these are silly examples (and I have a lot more where they came from), but it’s a tactic that works because it’s common for people to wait until everything is perfectly in place before making a decision or taking an action. So I’ve been using this tactic a lot — on myself. It, like many other sales techniques, can be used for self-motivation. I discovered the effectiveness of doing this a few years ago when I used this very technique to push out the redesign for my web site.
I began working on the new site with a friend back during the summer of 2008 and I had a number of things that I wanted to include in the site. I listed out all of the things I wanted it to have, but then realized that there were a lot of things I needed to wait on. I was trying to finish up a few products I wanted to launch along with the new site (I had it in my head that it would be cool to co-promote the new site and the new products), there were some services I was relying on outside vendors on that weren’t quite ready and I was courting some other people that teach complementary topics about possible joint ventures. On top of that, I wanted to change the technology of the website to make it easier for me to update and maintain.
When I looked all of these things, I realized that I would be into 2009 by the time everything I needed was in place. The problem was that I needed it done by September of that year because I had a number of private speaking engagements as well as public classes offered in some new areas. My website, as it existed, simply wouldn’t do as it didn’t have a professional look to it.
So what we did was look at the list and weeded out all the features that were nice to have but didn’t provide any immediate benefits. Then, we focused on what was needed by the deadline and got those pieces in place. The two most important things that were needed was the new design (the old one just looked too amateurish) and the updated information and features to help me convert visits into revenue. Knowing what was coming up on the horizon, I also put some things in place to make it easier to add the additional features.
We ended up pushing it out by our deadline and I was extremely happy with the results. I got a lot of complements from people at my speaking events that had gone to my website to check me out ahead of time (my old site lacked things as basic as a bio on me). Shortly afterwards when my products were ready, I added that part of the site (and I add new products as they are available). Finally, during a slow period, I got the pieces in place to make adding dates for my classes easy. What used to be an hour long task now takes me about five to ten minutes and the information is now consistent throughout my site. Had I waited for the timing to be right, I’d probably be still planning my big site redesign.
I’m sure you can relate to this both personally and professionally. It’s so easy to put things off until the right time: “I’ll ask that guy or girl out when things slow down at work.” “I’ll start looking for a new job in the fall when everyone is back from vacation.” “I’ll start exercising in the spring when the weather gets nicer.” Have you ever caught yourself thinking these things? Throughout the years I’ve been guilty of all three (and many more).
This is where we can get stuck because you can always find a way to make something better. You need to differentiate your “must haves” from your “nice to haves” and get them done. The best time to do something (and complete it) is now.