I used to have this bad habit of using absolutes. All. The. Time. I would tell people what to always do or what to never do.
- Everyone's target market is online.
- Always be transparent.
- Never take the first offer.
- There's a price for everything.
Then I started listening to myself. I went back and read some old posts on ancient websites and thought "what an ass!" because who the hell talks like that?
So I adjusted. I started saying things like "mostly" and "often" and "very likely".
I started leaving wiggle room for exceptions.
Because the Interwebs don't forget. And people take things literally. People will call you out when you're wrong and point out exceptions.
There are ALWAYS exceptions to the rule.
But here's the problem with "wiggle room". It leaves ROOM for lots of things. Like doubt. And excuses.
I was speaking to a small business owner who contacted me for marketing consulting and we were discussing Facebook as part of his strategy. He didn't want to do it. He had a friend, in a completely unrelated industry, who was doing their own marketing and skipping Facebook. And they were doing well enough. They were concentrating on LinkedIn and it made sense for that B2B industry.
I still think his friend could add Facebook to their marketing strategy but I can see their logic.
My prospective client had found the exception to the rule that allowed him to ignore a huge potential boon to his business. His potential clients ARE on Facebook. Not just because "everyone is on Facebook" but because his demographic data screamed it at us.
He's going to miss out big time if another marketing consultant isn't able to convince him that Facebook is a solid strategy for him. Maybe it takes some testing or some other type of convincing but it's not going to be me. And that's okay. Because he's not ready. Not yet.
Some people will never be convinced.
EVERYONE is NOT your customer. THAT is ALWAYS true.
So where do we live between those walls of absolutism and "wiggle room". How do we make our decisions? Do we follow the guidance of the gurus to the letter? Or do we look for all of those exceptions to the rules to guide us?
Do we live by the data or do we die by our gut?
What about you? Do you follow all rules or find the ways to break them? Do you look for exceptions or excuses?