Will you call?

Gordon Sinclair, a Chicago restauranteur, had a familiar problem. Several of his guests would make a reservation and not show up.

He noticed that whenever somebody called to make a reservation, his receptionist would tell them, ‘Thank you for making a reservation. Please call if you want to change or cancel your reservation.’ Sinclair then instructed his employee to change that second sentence to, ‘Will you call if you have to change or cancel your reservation?’, and wait for an answer.

Changing those two words dropped the no-show rate from 30% to a mere 10%.

How? The first statement was a request. The second one was a voluntary commitment made by the guests themselves – one they later felt obliged to uphold.

If you want somebody else to do something, the easiest means is to secure a commitment rather than order or request them. If you can do that, they are much likelier to follow through.

Inspiration: Robert Cialdini

2 thoughts on “Will you call?

  1. I have still not learnt to speak the right language to even husband & children 😢.
    Thank u for this post 👍

    “It’s incredible to think that you could have everything you want in your life if you learn to speak the right language to people. You could accomplish your goals, your dreams, have great partnerships, great friendships, and even great business opportunities—that is the power of influence!”


    1. Like swimming, it’s life-long skill to learn and master! Great that you clicked through and checked out the link. Robert Cialdini’s book is very powerful.


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