Pick the right moment

A great challenge in business is to do things at the right time whereas doing the right thing at the wrong time can easily lead to failure.

This is clearly apparent in sales, where asking for the business at the wrong moment can damage the emergent relationship. You are seen as pushy and / or desperate!

It is less obvious but no less true in other areas. Perhaps there is a project that will add to the short-term workload of a department. Launching the project in the department’s busy period may not be the best idea! The blowback from such a decision might include the conclusion that you don’t know what is going on and are out of touch – or worse, that you knew and didn’t care.

Timing plays a big part in negotiation when you are busying as well as selling. If you can pick the right moment to ask for the extras, you will find the vendor more receptive. The chances are that if you wait until the day before you are due to take delivery you will get short shrift.

The best time to buy a new car is when the dealer hasn’t quite reached their target and is running out of time – at the end of the month, quarter or year.

The best time to ask for a testimonial is when the buyer is ecstatic with you and your service. Capture it on video, in the heat of the moment, for maximum effectiveness.

So the things that are on your urgent to-do list may have to wait for the appropriate moment, but don’t let that become an opportunity for procrastination.

There are two relevant sayings

“one who hesitates is lost”

adapted from Joseph Addison’s 1712 play Cato


“fools rush in where angels fear to tread”

Alexander Pope “An Essay on Criticism”

Somewhere between the two is the sweet spot. Think about your timing and be patient!

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