For What It’s Worth: Apples Versus Oranges

This was pricing discussion was about to take that ugly turn. Our pricing is 30% higher than the competition. The engineer flipped back to his PowerPoint slide detailing the functionalityand snapped, “We’re not higher, we have more features. You’re comparing apples and oranges.” The developers and offering management did the head nod, acknowledgement of the agreement. Then the sales guy, unfazed, and unamused said, “That may well be, but t’s all fruit to my customer.” Brilliant.

You have a deep appreciation, a perception of nuance, a love of detail of one product versus another and the person you are talking to does not care. The me you talk, the more frustrated both of you become. You, because you become more passionate about the what you are describing and the other person because you are rambling about the same thing over and over, that they don’t care about.

Golf clubs, nah. Don’t care, they are all clubs to me. Shoes, well, are we talking heels, pumps, boots, oxfords or monk-straps, etc. Yoga in shoes, I love shoes. Look, I know this is one area where many would describe me as overzealous about matters that do not impact life or death. Much like a discussion about feminism in dystopian societies in the series Westworld and The Handmaid’s Tale.  Bless be the fruit now freeze all motor functions. These topics have select audience. What does your audience care about?

What do you do when someone gives you details and the history of a something you care nothing about? If it’s in person you might do the body language that indicates impatience, get on with it, or I don’t care. If it’s a virtual meeting, you might start checking email and doing some other useful task until the person stops. Don’t be “that” person; that person that goes on and on about something no one cares about. Determine what your audience cares about.  When speaking or starting a discussion, watch the nonverbal cues. Is there interest in what you are saying? If you are unsure, you can always ask. We’ve all had times when something we thought we had no interest in is fascinating. Of course, there’re times to acknowledge, your passion is someone else’s annoyance and that’s ok. Let it go.

Assume it’s all fruit and find out if your audience wants to know more, if so, bless be the fruit and you break down those apples versus oranges differentiation. Otherwise,  freeze all motor functions, take a moment, bring yourself back on line and move on to another topic.

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