It's Not the Buyers Job to Buy Your Coaching or Consulting

I park my bike and walk up to the cash machine.

At the door of the bank, two Spanish men: a son my age, and his ageing father.

“Dad, you don’t need to go in here every day.

“I can access your account from my computer, no problem.

“Really, there’s no need. If you want, I can print out a bank statement each day for you”.

The father stands there, quiet. It’s not clear if he understands what his son is telling him.

So far, it’s sounded friendly enough - but suddenly, the son gets impatient, and says:

“Or do whatever the hell you want to!” and storms off. (what he actually said in Spanish sounds a lot more blunt).

As I withdraw my cash, I wonder:

Is the father losing his marbles a bit, unable to understand what's going on?

Or is he untrusting of online banking?

Maybe he doesn't trust his son?

Or maybe, has modern life overtaken his level of comfort with processes and procedures and online and digital - and he just really wants a face at a bank telling him his account status?

There’s no telling, but one thing is certain:

His son was trying to sell him that 'There's no need to go into the bank every day', and dad wasn't buying it.

Also certain: It’s not the father’s job to understand, or to trust, or to accept, or indeed to buy in.

Instead, it’s the son’s job to find the message that will finally convince his father that showing up live at the bank daily really isn’t necessary.

But, he didn't realise that, and ended up frustrated.

Now, if ever you get frustrated when someone doesn’t buy your offer, or doesn't buy in to the good idea you’re trying to to get across, remember this:

It’s not the other person’s job to do so.

Instead, it’s your job to reach that other person, and you do that by putting yourself in their shoes.

It’s in their world that the sale happens - not in yours.

So if they’re not buying, it’s your job to keep the conversation going.

And asking questions will get you much further than pushing your agenda, no matter how valid your agenda may be.

Of course it's easy to be an armchair expert, and opine that the son could have gotten through by asking questions, and I don't know the backstory.

But I do know that telling things is never as effective as asking questions.

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