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114 Key Principles for Success

Principle 6 - ETA

When getting content from a supplier, always get the ETA or Estimated Time of Arrival. It could be files, data, slides, plans... This information can be used to time your following up.

It allows you to give status updates to your customers who might be waiting for this information. Bosses love to ask this question so you may as well ask your supplier.

Here's how to frame it:

"Do you have an ETA because I know my boss is going to ask me?"

Sometimes the supplier will balk at this question, so ask, "When should I check back or follow up?"

If you're asked for an ETA, always include, "..., if nothing unexpected comes up" after your ETA.

If you really have no idea then ask the person to check in with you at some specific future time.

If you are the supplier, always give an ETA. If you can't make the self-imposed deadline then contact the customer and give them an updated ETA.

If you don't get an ETA then you will be stressed not knowing if or when the supplier will deliver the goods.

Recently, someone who works for me failed to ask for an ETA. He got "the slides will be late or we're working on it," but failed to get an ETA.

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