Productive photo from ShutterstockThe above title may sound a bit contradictory. However, the recognition of what your maximum capacity is will prevent you from over-committing to unanticipated requests. Given the goals we have set for ourselves, along with the must-do task list, the frequently arriving requests could well put one into overwhelm if not dealt with properly

Your process for making choices, and how you handle either rejection or acceptance of requests, is paramount for maintaining a favorable personal brand and business brand, too.

1. Prioritize

As with everything else, prioritization of the must-do’s comes first. If you forsake a must-do for a favor, or in the case of, a “let’s see what happens”, you may possibly set your business back a step or two. As requests for promotion, collaboration, and doing favors, come into your in-box, decide which ones align with your vision and principles for conducting business.

Next, decide which requests sound as if they may further enhance your business development and achievement of your vision. Consistency in all you do is essential for maintaining your brand identity.

The more difficult requests come from friends. Do your best to honor those relationships but within a reasonable timeframe.  If you are in a time crunch with your own work, or extenuating circumstances exist, be honest and say so. Negotiate a target date satisfactory for all so that you both may continue to move forward on a friendly basis.

Note: A win for all should always be of the highest priority.

2.  Q&A

Sometimes requests are ambiguous.  You aren’t quite certain about all of the elements required or of the benefits all parties are slated to receive. Sometimes the benefits are just one-sided; be aware of these.  You need to do some digging before you provide an answer, or potentially, you might be sorry.  Question and Answer is the better strategy for this scenario.

By being inquisitive, you generally avoid being less than diplomatic.  On the other hand, you are able to clarify the situation and get all of the details prior to making a definitive decision of “no” or “yes”.  While you might turn an individual down, as they see the professional manner in which you operate, the conversation, at the very least, will be concluded on a positive note. Later on, a new project may develop which they recognize as a better fit, and will contact you once again.

3.  Enjoyment

I’m a proponent of believing work CAN be fun.  Which of the requests will enhance your enjoyment in doing the work?  Understand, if you agree to undertake a project that proves to be a drag on your time and mental outlook, you will not put out your best.  This will be worse than declining the “opportunity”.

The end goal should always be to deliver your best for friends, clients, management, and in customer service care.

When you find the enjoyment in your work and strive to always deliver your best, these elements combined, serve to attract others and provide repeat business and testimonials – the secret ingredient for the Smooth Sale!