Have you ever started a book, listened to a minute or two of a speaker, or been casually chatting with an adviser on the phone and caught yourself saying, “I already know that” or “I’ve heard that before.” ?
Well, that little voice and that little phrase can be the kiss of death when it comes to learning and doing things in a new and better way.
When we say that to ourselves, we are giving ourselves an often unnoticed suggestion to ignore everything that comes after the little voice. And so, no matter how important the message, and no matter how many important variations on what we already may know, we miss out on them. We ignore the benefits that might be contained in the lecture, article, book, conversation or communication.
Now I’m not saying to watch TV shows that you have seen before just because you didn’t realize it until you were a few minutes into the show. But have you ever read a book later in life, or under different circumstances than the first time, where you saw something new or notice a new lesson that had eluded you before?
So, when you catch yourself saying “I already know that!” just stop yourself. Ask yourself to notice whether or not there really is new and useful information. Give it a chance. Discover what may be different about this or more nuanced. And, if it seems like you do already know it, ask yourself whether or not you are really doing it.
How many times have we heard someone say “Existing customers are the best source of new business because they already trust you and you don’t have to spend marketing dollars overcoming resistance?” Probably pretty often. And, if you heard me saying that you might say to yourself, “I already know that.”
But what are you really doing about it? Are you consistently saying thanks to clients, giving them an unexpected bonuses, offering them tools to refer new clients, friends, and associates to you?
Do you send them thank you notes, emails, and newsletters to remind them to do business with you? Do you survey them and question them to find out what they really want and need from you rather than just offering what you “know” they need?
Oh, you don’t need to? When was the last time that you did business with someone but couldn’t remember their name even a few months later? It is not your customers’ job to remember you. It’s your job to remind them and to give them such great value that they do remember you and refer to you and hire you, or buy from you, again and again.
So remember to silence that little voice that says “I already know that” and replace it instead with the question, “What is really new here that I can use?” and “Am I really doing this consistently and effectively?”
If we do that we might learn something new and do more even better than before. And that might result in more satisfied customers, friends and family. And if we’re lucky, it might result in higher profits and margins – even in a down economy.