I met with “someone” (protecting the innocent) recently and discussed with them making the switch to using Smart Dolphins for their computer network support. The meeting went really well. This company was in growth mode and was really looking to transition to a new level in many ways. Their existing IT support had been coming from a friend who runs a local retail computer shop. This friend was doing a good job – certainly nothing glaringly bad. However, I explained to him how we have structured our company and how we approach IT support and he “got it”. His techie friend simply could not get him to where he needed to be. Smart Dolphins would need to charge him a bunch more than he’d been paying, but he could see how we’d impact his organization on a much grander scale than his IT bill. He was JAZZED to make the change.
He told me yesterday that he couldn’t go ahead at this time. He was adamant that Smart Dolphins was the better business choice for him, but he couldn’t do it yet. He would likely make the change in the near future. We talked about this a bunch. He had all sorts of things rattling around in his head and we talked about these various things. Most of his issues were non-issues once they were on the table. We boiled it all down and in the end, it was simple: he couldn’t “fire” his friend.
I make no judgment about his decision. I only tell this story to highlight how emotionally driven we all are. We think we are rational and we can be, but if something is important, our emotions typically drive us. Here is an astute business person who sees a profit maximizing decision he needs to make. He can’t go through the uncomfortable conversation to end a loyal friendship.
There are other flavours of emotions that I see all the time (including in myself). I talked to a law firm that was paying MORE than we would charge and they were unhappy with what they were getting. They didn’t make the change and I ultimately think it was because of the uncertainty of the unknown evil (us) or a sense it was too good to be true. Logical? Not really.
Even when I meet with people to talk about their technology, most start very icy. It is amazing how many people I meet with who have PERFECTLY running computers and they pay next to nothing for it. Interesting. I’m not saying they’re all liars. I am saying that most are afraid to tell the whole truth for fear of being sold to or having to face the truth. Moreover, most people won’t even meet because they’re too afraid to look under the rock.
Where are your emotions steering you?
P.S. I read a great book a while back called Predictably Irrational that touches on this idea (and many others) – I highly recommend the read.