Don’t be afraid to ask hard questions

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I got to be a bully today. Not in a pushing someone down in the mud on the playground kind of way, but in the insisting in a straight answer kind of way.

You’re going to get the run around. It’s inevitable. Whether it is in trying to find a piece of information for a client or getting a true estimate of the cost of a service, it will happen.

Grab a pen and piece of paper, you’re going to need it.

Start by being polite, yet firm. Let the person you end up with know how you got to them. For example: you called the office, they sent you to customer care who sent you to the person you are now speaking with. If that person cannot help you don’t be afraid to ask for a name and direct line of someone who can. Then when you call the recommended person, be sure to tell them the name of the person who referred you. Get all phone numbers and names, No matter what. If the offer you an employee number, write it down.

Above all else know what you are asking for and why it is important. Make sure you convey that to everyone you speak with. If you are on a time crunch, be sure to mention that as well.

With all the bureaucratic red tape surrounding organizations and the powerless employees tasked with answering questions, be prepared to wait. To be patient, but firm. Ask when you can expect a return call if the person insists on taking you number and calling you back. If you haven’t heard back by about an hour after that time, call them.

Don’t give up. You will get an answer.

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