Now this is not meant to be a confrontational kind of question, but it’s one I ask myself often, especially when I see how people respond to requests. In the day to day of my business I’m often reaching out to my community and asking for people who can provide specific advice or services to express their interest and send me through information accordingly. A simple enough request right?

But at least a third of people respond completely wrong. I might ask for people to email me - and then a third will send me the information via Facebook messenger or some other platform. Or I will ask for a document to be filled in, they won’t fill it in, instead just attaching a PDF of a brochure or a link to their website (when I didn’t ask for it).

Or I ask for something to be done by a certain day and time, and then two weeks later I receive some random email from them with the information that I did a group shout out for, clearly missing the deadline with no chance of me being able to work with them.

Now of course the problem is that the people that don’t follow the process are sending one of two messages - either they didn’t read the information, so they got it wrong, which makes them look bad. Or they read it but couldn’t follow the instructions, which also makes them look bad.

The point being if someone wants something from you, and it’s an opportunity for you, the bare minimum that you need to do is read their request in detail and respond to every aspect of the request accordingly.

Now don’t get me wrong, I know we are all busy, time deprived, multitasking etc, but we need to slow things down and take the time to at least read the information. I have worked with many companies that manage tenders and contracts. The number one complaint from them is that people submit tenders or contracts with half the information missing, which means they have no chance of getting the work - so why bother even submitting half a proposal? It’s simply a waste of everyone’s time.

Sometimes we can miss really good opportunities simply because we don’t take the time to read information correctly. We can dismiss an opportunity, miss a deadline, fail to submit some crucial piece of information or all of the above simply because we didn’t take the time to stop and actually read what the opportunity was, and that to me, is just plain silly.