Don't Ask For Wendy

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My phone rings.

I glance at my cell phone and muse to myself, “Huh.  I have no idea who that is.”  Curious…and apparently having nothing better to do, I tap “Answer” on the screen and generically utter an ever-brilliant and original, “Hello?”

A deep and gravelly, but somehow kind, voice greets me with, “Hello, may I please speak with Wendy?”

“I’m sorry, you must have the wrong number. There isn’t a Wendy here,” is my response as I smirk to myself and prepare to put my phone down and go back to whatever obviously riveting activity I was partaking in.

But the phone call isn’t over, I discover.

“Oh, well perhaps you can help me.  I’m collecting donations on behalf of…”

Every so often I receive these phone calls – and, sadly, more often than not, they are for reputable charities genuinely looking for funds for a good cause.  However, in these cases, they lose out on a donation...well…from me at least.


Because no matter how good the cause, I am turned off from them for one simple reason.

They lied to me.

I’ve never had any contact with them – never spoken with them and, in most cases, have never heard of them before.  And, for this reason, there is no reason to think they have to be coy with me, mislead me or otherwise misdirect their purpose of their call.  By “pretending” to be trying to reach a fictional person (the mythical “Wendy” in this case) they are beginning their relationship with me with a lie.  And so they lose my charity, my trust, and my belief in them.  In fact, they may be pushing me to donate to another charity – similar to theirs -but one that hasn’t defaulted on my emotional bank account.

And I would hazard a guess that I’m not alone.

No one wants to be interrupted by someone they don’t know – let alone by someone asking for money.  So why begin with lie?  The reasons are many – probably backed by a study, a persuasive guru’s promised super tip, or an over-eager marketing firm pushing their “guaranteed” results service.

So, how do you earn my business?

Be honest.

Ask for what you want, give me a compelling reason, and let me make the choice.

If you want to stand out in a crowded marketplace, in politics, in business, or in your personal relationship, the way to do so isn’t by lying =  It’s about doing the thing that it seems everyone is most afraid of in 2017.

Be transparent.

Think back to the people that have most impacted your lives.  Think about the products you give your loyalty and your dollar most to.  I’d hazard a guess that those people and those products did what they said they would.  They were upfront about their purpose, their goals, and how they could serve you – whether through tough, but fair coaching, offering an easier or better product/service, or by being that special someone that came into your life, swept you off your feet and now you can’t imagine life without them.

Honesty always wins.  The truth always endures. Transparency always earns respect.

In your everyday interactions:  Show up, stand firm, and tell the truth.  You’ll earn my business and, more importantly, you’ll stand out in a world of people asking for “Wendy.”