Whenever you find yourself in a situation where someone isn’t going along with the good ideas you have, you need to ask yourself:
Are the two of you trading in compatible currencies?
Because if you’re not, and you’re not aware of it, you’ll go nowhere real fast with that person.
A husband comes home to find his wife distressed and upset. Oops… something’s happened.
He sits down, listens to her troubles, and starts thinking of ways to help, to improve the situation, to fix things for her.
Useful, no? Girl’s got a problem, let’s help, let’s see if we can fix it!
Except his wife grows increasingly upset. Frustrated, even.
Until finally the whole conversation disintegrates: he ends up frustrated because she doesn’t seem to want his help, and she’s upset because ‘he just never listens’ to her.
In such a situation, the ‘currency’ she’s hoping for, is someone who listens, who gives her space to vent, so she can clear her head, get some clarity, and not feel alone in her troubles.
At that stage, she’s not looking for a solution, but someone to just be present.
He on the other hand, is trying to ‘pay’ a different kind of currency, in the form of quality problem-solving.
But that’s not what she wants – and so we end up with incompatible currencies.
The problem arises when we interpret the other person’s situation, conclude that we know what they want, and proceed to try and give it to them.
A client might say: “I want a website with custom branding and e-commerce built in”, and on the surface that seems straightforward enough.
But below the surface, they might want different things, like:
‘A site that works, doesn’t break, and that’s easy to manage and update’.
Or: ‘A site that enables me to earn more from the traffic I’m getting’.
Or: ‘An online presence that I’m proud of’.
You can’t know what’s behind the obvious, and even when you ask, you’ll only learn what they tell you, which may or may not be the complete picture.
So if you then go answer – and try to fulfill – the surface-level wishes, you likely speak to something that isn’t the real, true, deeper desire… and you might lose the client.
Whenever you try to help someone, serve someone, or try and do something in order to solve a problem for someone… but they’re not having none of it?
Ask yourself: Are you trying to ‘pay’ in a ‘currency’ they don’t want?
P.s. Before November is out, I’ll be raising the price of my 1 on 1 training for the LEAP Ethical Selling Framework. For now it’s still available at $1500, should you want to upgrade your communication and selling skills.