Whenever you find yourself in a situation where someone isn’t going along with the good ideas you have – or indeed, isn’t buying in to your offer, you need to ask yourself:
Are you trying to ‘trade in incompatible currencies’?
Because if you are, 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 fix this!
Except his wife grows increasingly frustrated and upset.
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 and who gives her space to vent, so she can clear her head, get some clarity, and just not feel so alone in her troubles.
At that stage, she’s not looking for a solution, but instead she just wants him to be present – that’s the ‘currency’ she’d like to be ‘paid’ in.
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.
This problem – trying to give something other than what your counterpart is asking for – is very common, and it’s the cause behind many conflicts, misunderstandings, and yes: lost sales.
So in any situation where your idea is good or your offer is right for the other, but they’re not having it, remember to ask yourself:
Are you offering a ‘currency’ that the other person wants?
Have you asked enough questions, have you listened well enough, to understand what that person is actually looking for?
How can you rephrase or reframe your offer in such a way, that your currencies become compatible, and they’ll want what you have?