We’re all on a need-to-know basis all the time. Life is so crowded now that information accessibility has reached an all-time high, that we’re self-selecting in this regard.
Information used to be carefully guarded. There are still things that governments hide, places where you can’t just walk in and find out anything you might want to know.
Conversations I’ve had the last two days have alerted me to the fact that we really need to choose what information we put out about ourselves: what we’re thinking, what we’re planning, what good word we’re trying to spread.
The key to selling what you really want to sell is not putting out more information than necessary to allow a buyer to make a decision. Everything else muddies the water. Other information becomes on a need-to-know basis to keep buyers from being overwhelmed.
This blog, for example, is a catch-all for my writing. If you’re really concerned about what I believe and think, I may not submit to a twenty-page theological and philosophical interview to work with your organization, but everything I put out there is just that: out there. Draw your inferences.
It has been said that you should not throw your pearls before swine. One way to look at that is to only share the information that’s relevant to getting the job done. If a plumber comes to your house and says “I can fix this pipe” you say “great, do it,” but if they then begin to tell you how you might also want to consider replacing your windows, and they can do that too, you’re liable to become overwhelmed. “Which one should I fix first?”
If I tell a prospect I can do motivational speaking (this is an example of a mistake I’ve been making!) but also life coaching, they may wonder which I do better. And if I’m an expert at one and not the other, why mention it? They’re much more likely to hire a motivational speaker who only does motivational speaking, or a coach who only coaches. The reality is that most coaches will do some speaking, and many speakers will interact with you personally, but it’s rare that someone is equally skilled at both. Give the information that’s needed. Not more.