I’m naturally quite a visual person. A few years ago I met with someone who was going to do a social media strategy for me. She charges about $1200 a month and I’d heard wonderful things about her, so I thought it was all going to be really fantastic and I was ready to go ahead with the solution. We had a successful meeting and I was very happy with our discussion, so at the end of the meeting I said, “Look, if you can just send me a one page document, with three or four bullet points on everything that we just talked about, I can sign off on it and we’ll get started.”
She never did send me the document, so we never started the work. I couldn’t run my decision making strategy because I needed to see it there in front of me. It was a 12 month contract, so she cost herself quite a bit of money because she didn’t provide me with a one-page outline. I even made the point of saying, “It doesn’t need to be a fancy proposal, just three or four dot points outlining in writing what we discussed today so I can sign off on it.”
The woman that was selling me the social media strategy was an auditory person. From her perspective, she had told me all I needed to know to make a decision. I don’t know if went away and said, “I can’t understand why Chandell didn’t sign up, because she told me she had all of the things that she needed, but I’m going to be a victim about the fact that I didn’t get the sale.” A lot of sales people do respond that way when the sale doesn’t go through, when in actual fact she wasn’t listening hard enough – I told her what I needed from her to make the decision and really I wasn’t asking her for all that much. In the context of it, if I’m going to spend $1200 a month for 12 months it’s a fair bit of money to spend to get three dot points on a sheet of paper.
As far as she was concerned, we’d gone over the system verbally and I’d agreed, so there was no more to be done. Some people work like that. I don’t. It’s not wrong, it’s just different.
The point is we all see things differently because we have different Internal Representation Systems, and if you can get your head around this concept you won’t be leaving money on the table, just because you didn’t communicate in the way another person prefers (or requires).