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Being Convincingly Unconvincing

There will come a time in everyone's working life that they are asked a questions that they do not know the answer to. Whilst this situation is not ideal, if handled well then it doesn't have to be such a big problem.

This excercise is based around giving you some useful expressions for dealing with such a situation.

Remember that your tone of voice is what will ultimately make or break how you come out of the situation, and this needs to be trained!

Simply saying you don't know:

I'm sorry but I simply don't know that...

I'm really sorry but I don't have that information to hand...

I should know this, but I don't I'm afraid...

Being Proactive:

What I will do is,.. (follow this up with whatever step you can take to find the information out).

However, I do know where to find that information out, so will do so and get back to you...

Making an educated guess:

I can't say for certain, but an educated guess would be...

I can't be absolutely sure, but what I do know is...

I'm not able to give you an exact answer, but what I can say is,...

Re-framing the inability to answer:

I really don't want to give you the wrong information,

I want to make certain that I'm giving you the right information before responding properly,


Training the skill

To practice this, have a look at the video below, Watch the whole video firstly, simply listening for what the Pitch is for, and what the outcome of the negotiation was. Think about whether the comment "This guy had an amazing ability to sound like every single thing he said was being made up on the spot" was fair, or whether he could have dealt with the couple of occasions that he couldn't answer the questions better? Then, look at the questions below;

How could he have answered better when;

  1. he is challenged by Deborah from 3:43. as to the market size that he is targeting,

  2. and at 06:02 when he is asked about the cost pricing for the product.

  3. and at 7:41 when asked about a hygiene concern from Peter?


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