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The meaning of permission

What are we agreeing when we share our data with our bank? What does it mean when I say it’s fine to contact me to offer a product or service that might be of interest? What do you mean when you say ‘I have a couple of questions that will help us to offer you a better service’?

I recently spoke on the phone with someone from a bank that we have been customers of for more than ten years. She called me, and I agreed to talk to her.

She said she could help me see if there were other bank products more appropriate for us. I accepted.

After ten minutes of question after question I become a bit suspicious, but when she started asking very personal questions such as the age of my children, who was the oldest, if we have a mortgage, how much I was making with my business, I stopped her in her tracks and told her that I was not answering any of those.

Did I agree to have that conversation? Yes, but let’s get back to the expectations.

I thought her interest was in offering me a better product, something that might be in my interest, but the conversation in fact was about the bank getting more data about me and my family to place us into their funnel in order to be able to sell me more products in the near future.

When someone knocks at the door and you open it, it doesn’t mean you’re inviting her to come into your office, check your bank statements and look at your computer files.

Permission is based on trust and expectations. I give you permission because I trust you and because we’re both clear about what we’re agreeing on. Permission doesn’t imply hidden agendas; permission is not about obtaining access so that you can do what you want.

Permission helps us to build respect, credibility and trust. It takes time to build these assets. Be sure you don’t destroy them with a phone call.



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