History does repeat itself since, yet again, I
almost run out of checks for my checking account. Not
feeling compelled to search the Internet for half an
hour to find $1.98 in savings elsewhere, I called 1-
Judy the checklady had a pleasant telephone voice
and did her best
to up sell me to purchase designer checks with pretty
scenes on them including my special
message, but I
resisted and insisted on boring old blue, the
color I have been using since Jimmy Carter was in
office. She laughed at my description of boring old
blue and gave up on trying to get me in the first class
seating section of the check club.
I have been thinking about the long period of time
when checks only came in plain, boring pastel colors;
no panoramic views, themed messages or
puppies and kittens on them.
Functional and boring was the only choice
until a very
brave person at the check printing company said to
the boss, "I think if we offer a wide variety of printed
designs on checks, our customers will pay a premium
to have them." The boss, also a user of blue checks,
questioned, "You think that our customers will pay
more money for a check that is only seen by them
twice and once by the clerk at the utility company? I
wouldn't pay extra for that. . . but, let's see
if they want
to. . ." The check printing company has lived
ever after because the boss chose not to do his
customers' thinking for them.
Acquaintances, friends and clients are often
describing to me situations in which they use
language that sounds like this:
- I know she will never go for that price
because she paid $_____ last time and why would
she ever use the extra features in our model?
- I just know that if I say _________ to him
he will say ______ and that will mean ______ which
will result in _______.
- It must be important to him because he
keeps it in perfect condition and a new one would cost
$____ and why would he ever consider my offer?
Untested "truths" for professional horsemen:
- I can't raise boarding rates. I'm already
more than the folks just down the road.
- My clients would never be able to afford
prepaying for a group of 6 lessons for a small
- If I ask Meddlesome Mary to leave the
barn, I'll lose five other clients at the same time.
- No one would pay money for a horse
- I can't afford a bookkeeper when I can do it
for free for myself.
- He'll never pay me a commission for
finding a buyer for his horse.
You will probably agree with me that we get stuck on
the road to profit in our own self-made thinking
as a result of doing the other person's thinking
him. Have you ever had a five-minute imaginary
two way conversation with another person
in your head? Role-playing works, but not if you are
the only participant.
The result is why ask, I already know
Quit doing other people's thinking for them!
State your case and test what you think you know.
You'll never know until you allow the other party to
participate in your imaginary conversation.
Ask, close mouth, listen and move on down the
road to greater