What they think matters, whether it’s right or not.
Do they think one of your competitors is a better option, when you know they’re overcharging and underdelivering?
Do they think the fact that their existing relationship with a vendor makes that vendor a better fit than you?
Do they think that your price is too low, too high, too complicated, or too simple?
Do they think they need a particular type of solution, when you know full well they’d be better suited to something else?
Quibbling over whether they’re right or not diminishes our moral responsibility to help them move forward.
There are a lot of ideas floating around in the marketplace. None are right or wrong, they simply ‘are’.
The first step is to Understand. Where did this idea come from? Just what is their belief system, exactly? We don’t want to get into a ‘holy war’ of conflicting world views here. Instead, we want to start by understanding what they think.
The second step is to Empathize. Even the most backward of thought processes have seemingly sound logic to those who think them. It’s not your job to block, but parry: letting them know you can follow their trail of thought equips them with the feeling not being understood. Just like with feelings, this is the first step toward equipping someone with positive change.
The third step is to get them unstuck. From your understanding and empathizing of their worldview, where they are and where they want to be, you’re equipped to build a coherent, clear bridge between those two places. This is the time for us to show them that path forward, which you can travel, together.
Are you right? Are they right? It doesn’t matter. Understand, empathize, get them unstuck.