Don’t ask questions for which you already know the answer

Don't ask questions for which you already know the answer

I was recently completing an online form to submit a proposal for speaking at a conference. I had to log in to the system for it to recognize me (which it did). One of the first questions it asked me was "Have you ever spoken at this conference before?"

So the system knows who I am, but it doesn't know if I've ever spoken at this conference before? (I have.) Why are they asking me things they should already know?

And this is my message to you: Don't ask questions that will make your members or customers say "Wait, you should know that already!" Because every time you do that, you are telling them, "You're not important enough for me to bother working on getting this information. I'll just ask you for it because that's easier for me." (And as an aside, the customer may not know the answer, or may give an incorrect answer, in which case the data is useless anyway!)

I know how difficult it can be to integrate disparate systems or reference data from past events. But if that question is truly important to you, do the work beforehand or afterward. Don't make the customer do the work for you!

Wes's Wednesday Wisdom Archives

It’s all relative…

July 21, 2021

It’s all relative… Over the course of my 22 years of consulting, I’ve consulted with …

It’s all relative… Read More »

Eliminate to optimize

July 14, 2021

Eliminate to optimize So much of data management is habit (both good and bad) which is …

Eliminate to optimize Read More »

For data governance, ask “Why?”

July 7, 2021

For data governance, ask “Why?” Recently I’ve had the opportunity to work on several data …

For data governance, ask “Why?” Read More »

More on Meetings

June 30, 2021

More on Meetings I’ve written before about the importance of making sure your meetings are …

More on Meetings Read More »

Action produces momentum

June 23, 2021

Action produces momentum Another great quote from James Clear: “Motivation often comes after starting, not …

Action produces momentum Read More »

My #1 Best Practice…

June 16, 2021

My #1 Best Practice… A client recently asked me: “If you had to pick a single …

My #1 Best Practice… Read More »

Encourage engagement with prizes!

June 9, 2021

Encourage engagement with prizes! One of the biggest challenges any organization faces when implementing a new …

Encourage engagement with prizes! Read More »


June 2, 2021

Inertia One definition of inertia is “to remain unchanged.” My sense is that many association processes, projects, or …

Inertia Read More »

When’s the “least bad” time?

May 26, 2021

When’s the “least bad” time? When working with clients on a new project, especially a …

When’s the “least bad” time? Read More »

A poor launch can set the stage for YEARS

May 19, 2021

A poor launch can set the stage for YEARS It is not uncommon for me …

A poor launch can set the stage for YEARS Read More »

Scroll to Top