No matter what we do in life, we have to jump through hoops. Some hoops are simple, like filling out your New Patient forms at the doctor’s office, and some are more complex, like navigating the mortgage application process, or landing a big new client.
I have to jump through plenty of hoops when I work with large organizations, particularly those that farm the hiring process out to a third party. As we all know, the more parties involved, the longer and more complex something gets! Having spent countless hours dealing with fees, forms and followups, I’ve come up with 5 essential strategies for effective hoop jumping. I hope they are helpful to you…
1. RESEARCH your options. No matter what you’re planning on hoop jumping for, research is key! Find your ideal client/dentist/lender/whatever, then be very, very nice to the person(s) you are dealing with. Gratitude greases the wheels.
2. FILL OUT any forms IMMEDIATELY — While you might be busy, do not avoid form filling — forms are the lifeblood of hoop jumping. If you don’t understand a form or process, call your contact and talk to a real person. Ask them to walk you through the paperwork.
3. DOUBLE CHECK the fine print…Lots of folks charge fees that are hidden in the fine print. This is where you have to be smart! If you’re working for a client, include any admin fees in your rate. If you’re working on something personal, make sure you are really aware of all fees or penalties throughout the process
4. BEFRIEND your contact. This person is your lifeline to a smooth hoop jumping process. Without those guys or gals on the other end of the line, nothing gets achieved. Send those peeps things — food, thank you notes, super power suits — they make the difference. And when you need to, pester them, but very, very nicely.
5. MAKE IT SNAPPY! Respond to calls and emails as soon as you can — this is perhaps the most critical part of the process. It’s so easy to set something aside for later, but as it’s sitting there it grows bigger and bigger until that tiny thing has become huge.
The common denominator here is you and your ability to be persistent while being polite. It’s easy to get cranky, but who wants to deal with that kind of person? Nobody. Put yourself in the hoop makers’ shoes, remember they‘re people just like you, who are trying to get things done. And if everything goes haywire, give them feedback. Be the one person sending the polite email, text or voicemail. You never know, your feedback might just be the thing that makes the process smoother for the next person!