Because you don’t know what you don’t know

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Despite difficulties with the hotel ‘tech’, Tom Simpson made an excellent presentation. I ‘billed’ him as a rising star in his firm – Harold Stock & Co. Solicitors – and those of you who were there now know why! An old head on young shoulders!

It was a pleasure to meet two visitors this week. Joe Denman is Business Development Executive for Nviron Ltd [Geddit?!] and is the son of a former MPN member Gary. Luke Taylor runs a health & safety consultancy called Orchard Compliance Solutions Ltd.

This week your main speaker is yours truly. I’ve had no chance to prepare anything ‘formal’ I’m afraid – but with marker pen and flipchart I’m (fairly) sure I’ll find something relevant…

Because you don’t know what you don’t know

Most of you will have heard me talk about my answer to the question ”why should I pay a financial adviser’s fees when I can do it myself on the internet?” I usually reply along the lines of “because you don’t know what you don’t know.” I then offer a couple of relatively simple facts that I’m sure will confirm this – a good one is “did you know there are 9 types of ISA?” I’ve suggested in the past that many of us could use this sort of phrase – suitably backed up by something our prospective client ought to know about our particular area of expertise but probably doesn’t.

Many years ago I read a book called “How to Win Friends and Influence People” by Dale Carnegie. Still in print – and highly recommended – one of the book’s main themes is that if you take the time and trouble to learn how to be a (vaguely) competent public speaker, then speaking one-on-one in a business negotiation should be a piece of cake. But it takes practice to get good – and it takes practice to learn to use useful ‘stock’ phrases and ideas in our negotiations. I’ve practised my “I don’t want to pay you” response so it now comes out as natural. You can – and should – do the same.