Two Cases, One Issue
Case #1: The other day I met with a client who is a designer. They were about to send out an email and asked my opinion on the wording.
The person they were reaching out to asked them to provide / create 5 samples of a logo and then if they (the potential client) liked one of them, they would buy it. My client was a little disturbed because they were being asked to do speculative work. He was ready to send out a nasty gram, when I stepped in.
Case #2: When I was heading to CES I decided to get a shared van instead of dealing with the hassle of driving and parking at the airport. The guy picked me up and he let me know we had to pick one other person.
When he reached the apartment complex of the lady he was picking up, he realized that he only had a garage number and not an actual building number (the complex signs guide you by building number and not by garage number). He called his dispatch and asked if they could contact the lady and get a building instead of a garage number.
After a few minutes of not hearing from dispatch he called back and asked again for them to call the passenger. Dispatch let him know that they were on the phone with the lady and she just kept giving the garage number instead of the building number. The driver got frustrated and decided to scream out, “That lady is a freaking moron! She’s an idiot.” He did finally figure out the location of the lady and picked her up.
In both cases there was only one problem; a difference in world view. Or I should say, a lack of understanding the others world view.
Case#1: Before my client sent that email, I reminded them that the person who made the request is probably clueless to how their process works and the actual work that it would take to accomplish what he was asking and all for a, “Maybe I’ll do business with you.”
Luckily, we were meeting that day and had a chance to talk. I let him know that the guy he is responding to doesn’t know his process and probably doesn’t care. The burden is on the seller to help the buyer understand how they do business.
The email was edited to remove the snarky tone and instead provide a clear, non-emotional response that in essence said, “Thanks for the opportunity, that’s not how I usually work; but I’d be more than happy to provide you as many samples as requested if we decide to work together.”
Case #2: In the case of my driver, I clearly saw how all this mess could have been prevented if he just took a moment to consider the ladies world view and then proceeded to troubleshoot.
What could have been done? Instead of calling your client an idiot, understand that there may be a reason why she is using the garage number instead of the apartment building number–maybe she doesn’t want you to know where she lives creep. But that is here nor there. The driver could have helped the lady and the dispatch understand his worldview by saying something like this,
“The apartment complex signs only point to apartment building numbers and not garage numbers. Can you please provide me the closet apartment building number so I can pick you up.” DONE!
In the End
Start by thinking more about the other party and things will go much smoother. Remember, you already know what you want to accomplish, but the other party doesn’t have the slightest idea unless you tell them. And you won’t know what they want unless you ask them.
Do you have story about world view mix up? I’d love to hear it.
As always, my goal is to help you Run The Point (take action) from where you are, with what you have.