Last week, I got some quotes for designing the walls of next month’s expo stall at Australian HR Institute (AHRI) national convention.
And I originally had this idea of using a dozen individual stickers with about five words each, rather than printing up entire custom walls and having them installed. So if I choose a sentence that doesn’t fit anymore or I decide to redesign the walls, I have more time to change things.
So the first printer I talked to, who I really like as he’s done a lot of my business cards, said “OK, it’s this price”. Only through checking with the hire company setting up the expo, did I find that, no, that type of sticker will leave a stain, and you’re up for the cost of repair.
“Oh, OK well, you probably want this type of sticker then”. I range the hire company: “yes, that’s what we use”. The printer says, “I’ll do a quote for that”.
And then on Friday, I had a moment to ring some other printers. And the first thing one of them said was “nah, mate, don’t go for stickers. They’re too expensive and it’s going overboard, use foam board!”. “What’s foam board?”.
He just said that straight up. He had my interests in mind. He wanted to make it cheaper for me. And it was.
Even now, I feel like talking to him first about ANY printing need. It’s like an automatic attraction.
You might draw from this conclusion that the first printer just wanted to charge me $ for something more expensive.
No, I think it’s more that even though he is a nice guy, he’s not a broad thinker. He just does his job and hopes to get paid on time!
My takeaways from this:
🔷 Make the other person look good: take self-interest out of the picture and swim in their world. That’s what that printer did for me.
🔷 Don’t lock in one idea, and then use that as a base to work out what you are doing. Stay open.
🔷 Choose suppliers (and colleagues) who are extensive and imaginative thinkers.
🔷 There is always going to be a second and third way to do something. If one person illuminates a new angle, store it. When you ring the next person and ask the same question you can embellish the question using this new suggestion. And you’ll get a more thorough answer each time.
Not that you guys didn’t know any of this. It’s a nice reminder to stay in a clear and curious mindset.
Part 1: I had a long chat the other day with a sales director at a large-ish digital consulting firm, and we fell onto...