Friday, March 8, 2013

If You Don't Ask for What You Want, You Get Everything You Ask For

There is a lesson that I have been reminded of a few times recently, both by things that have happened in my selling life as well as my personal life, and that is that one rarely gets what one wants when one does not ask for it.

I had a customer recently who, when they came in, all they could say was that they wanted lease payments. I tried to ask them what kind of car they were looking for, features, trim level, anything, but all they wanted was to know what the payment was. The lowest one, of course. It was all about the Benjamins, they claimed, and they mentioned the Jetta S, which they knew was cheapest. I mentioned that it had the smaller engine, but they just wanted the lowest price.

So, I showed them the numbers on that car, around $250 with very little out of pocket, and we took the car out for a drive. They assured me that they liked how the car drove, but they needed to think about it for a night.

I called them the next day, and they told me that they bought a Ford for $360/month. The reason they gave me was that there was not enough power in the engine of the Jetta. Of course, there wasn't enough power, they wanted the cheap one with the 115 horsepower engine. If they had told me they wanted more power, I would have shown them the SE with 170 horsepower for about $285/month. Instead, because they did not tell me what they wanted, they had to settle for a more expensive vehicle elsewhere.

I know that some car shoppers think that they are somehow better off keeping their cards close to the vest, but the fact of the matter is that if I don't know what someone wants, I can't possibly help them to get it.

You get this in the personal relationships as well. Have you ever had or heard about this conversation, perhaps on a road trip.

Wife: "Do you want to stop and get something to eat?"
Husband: "No, I'm fine."
Temperature in the car drops about 20 degrees.
Husband: "But maybe we should stop."

It's a funny story, but think of how often people do not get what they want from their partner because they don't ask for it. Usually this is because they feel that their partner should "know them well enough" to know what they want. If expecting your partner to read your mind is part of your happy relationship strategy, you should not get too attached to the idea of getting what you want. The plain and simple fact is that no matter how much you partner may want to make you happy and give you what you want, it becomes very difficult if they do not know what it is.

If you want to get what you want, whether it's a car with a little more power or to stay within a certain budget or a cheeseburger along the highway, you are much more likely to get it if you ask for it.

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