Don’t give people what they want

samfloy~12 May 2018 /Advice

This week I’m lifting something from a long-standing email conversation I have with a friend. 

It’s probably one of the most fundamental things I’ve learnt this year and, despite using it in a “business development” context, feel that it has relevance in other areas of life.

The question was: What have you learnt in how to sell better?

Making people feel subconsciously comfortable that you know what’s the right thing to do. An extension of this is to push back when they say something you don’t agree with. 


Patient: “Doctor, I’ve got these chest pains. I’ve researched it and I need to have these pills, can you prescribe them to me?” 

Doctor: “Sure, here you go”

Even though the patient got the outcome they wanted, subconsciously they’ll be thinking “hold up, this Doctor doesn’t know what they’re doing”.The latter was a mental leap that I had to take. Surely the customer is always right? Not really. If the dynamic is that you have the expertise in the relationship, you’re actually doing them a disservice by agreeing to everything they say (if it’s not in their best interests).

A few months ago I was very much in a position of servitude when it came to helping people out by offering them products/ services. It’s something I’ve been working on to change, where appropriate.

If you’ve been finding me more disagreeable recently, apologies, it’s with the best interests at heart…

In other news…

I read a very thought-provoking article this week. You know everyone talks about “data mining”, and “Facebook is mining your personal data”, well, this said that the analogy is wrong, and therefore the way people prescribe a solution to it is wrong as well.

I’ll let you read it for yourself, but the crux is that something as simple as an analogy of being a “data mine” or a “data factory” has implications for you regulate companies like Facebook.

Amazing how a simple turn of phrase can have such far-reaching implications: I am a data factory (and so are you)

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