Research Before You Buy

Researching a purchase before you buy can save you a bundle.

Stever Robbins
5-minute read
Episode #37

Dig deep when you ask. Don't just say, "Gee, tell me about the retreat." They'll tell you their top-of-mind impressions. And if they LOVE cleansing or if they’re a sociopathic masochist, they’ll give you a glowing report.

Ask about specifics. "What do you love about it?" “The food.” Too vague. You’re looking for answers you can imagine concretely. So dig deeper. "I love food, too! What was a typical meal?" If their answer contains words like "Rejuvelac," start inching towards the exit and don’t make any sudden movements.

If there’s any possibility you don’t know a word they’ve using, ask. Don’t fake it. I thought a ‘colonic’ was a bubbly soft drink you ordered at a soda counter. No, that’s a ‘tonic.’ And a ‘living foods’ diet does not mean gourmet vegetarian cuisine, and ‘cleansing’ has nothing to do with washing behind your ears. Who knew? Certainly not I.

Make sure to ask about positives and negatives to get a well-rounded picture. “What was your least favorite part?” “They didn’t give me enough recipes.” “Recipes?” “Yes, for continuing the diet. After all, once you’ve detoxed, your body stops being able to digest meat, fat, sugar, caffeine, ice cream, potato chips, or anything else that gives life even a modicum of pleasure. So you have to eat this way for the rest of your life.” Useful information to have before you buy that ticket.

Remember you’re after facts and details; you don’t really care if those were things they loved or things they didn’t. That’s because tastes differ.

Once you’ve thoroughly done your homework, then make your decision. And if it turns out to be not what you expected, hey, you did your best. Now, it’s a learning experience.

And for all my horror at the cuisine, I came back from the retreat with my skin positively glowing. My energy’s been up and I’ve needed far less sleep. My mind’s rested, too. The retreat Zen Center really was the most beautiful place I’ve ever been. Thanks to the yoga, I can now touch my toes. And if they ever offer a plain old vacation retreat, I’ll be there in an instant.

But first, I’ll do my homework. I’ll read reviews, talk to multiple people who have direct, first-hand experience. My questions will cover both the good and the bad, and I’ll be listening more for the facts than for whether my peeps liked or disliked any particular part of the experience. After all, they say tomato, I say 'not on my plate you don't.'

This is Stever Robbins. Send questions about how to Work Less and Do More to getitdone@quickanddirtytips.com or leave voicemail at 866-WRK-LESS. Help with the Get-it-Done Guy book at blog.steverrobbins.com/getitdoneguy, or follow GetItDoneGuy on Twitter.

For information about keynote speeches, workshops, or other appearances, visit SteverRobbins.com for details.

Work Less, Do More, and have a Great Life!


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About the Author

Stever Robbins

Stever Robbins is a graduate of W. Edward Deming’s Total Quality Management training program and a Certified Master Trainer Elite of NLP. He holds an MBA from the Harvard Business School and a BS in Computer Sciences from MIT.