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The Power of Specificity

Which one of these works best as a call to action?
• We need 37 new accounts to reach our revenue goal for 2009
• We need more than 30 new accounts to reach our revenue goal for 2009
• We need a bunch of new accounts to reach our revenue goal for 2009

Most of would probably choose #1. But why?

Because of the power of specificity.

The first example is so concrete we know it can be broken down into a measurable, do-able plan. That creates some immediate energy and confidence.

Need credibility to create commitment and action? Of course you do. And precise details show the listeners that you are probably telling the truth. A “guesstimate” doesn’t have the same impact because it leaves a little “doubt cloud’ hanging out there. Without concrete facts people may think that you are just making the whole thing up–or exaggerating a bit.

Statistics and precise details not only help with authenticity but create curiosity and mental involvement. The human mind latches on to that which is precise but has to wrestle with fuzziness. When people around us have to work extra hard at what we are saying, they begin to tune out.

What can you be more specific about today?

Author: Steve Roesler, All Things Workplace.com
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