Sometimes, we don’t have what it takes to do a job. At first, it seems doable. As time goes on, you realize you’re in over your head. You come to a painful realization – you will fail.
It happens to me just about every week.
Yesterday, I stopped at the hardware store to pick up a few parts. I needed to fix my grill and a handle on a toilet.
How hard could it be? I figured an hour of work would save me money. Plus, I wouldn’t need to schedule a repairman.
Of course, these things never turn out as planned. I made the classic mistake of using best case reasoning.
Best Case Reasoning is when you estimate the effort involved to accomplish a goal based on best case (often unrealistic) scenarios.
Most of us are overconfident in our ability. We’re also overconfident in our ability to predict the future.
Once we get down to doing the work, we realize the truth.
“Wow. This is a lot harder than I expected. “
Best Case Reasoning In Business
Awareness of this tendency helps you in your day to day life. It also gives you a leg up in business.
You see, your customers and prospects use Best Case Reasoning too. Instead of buying your services they think they can do the job themselves. You know they lack the skills to do it right. You know they’d be better off just hiring you.
Here’s the problem.
Telling someone they’re in over their head invites resistance, if not defiance.
“Don’t tell me I can’t do it. I’ll show you!”
So, how do you make that clear without insulting or challenging him?
The single greatest persuasive tool at your disposal is a demonstration. Show that what you offer requires unique skills. Show your prospect he’s in over his head should he choose to go it alone.
The simplest way to do that is to tell a story. A YouTube video demonstrating all the steps (and tools) involved in doing my repairs would have prompted me to hire a professional.
Reading a story about someone like me who struggled with the same problem might have also led me to call a professional.
The Story Telling Secret Nobody Talks About
Here’s what they never told you about stories. They work best as pre-emptive tools. Don’t wait until someone says “I can do this on my own. I don’t need you.”
At that point, your demonstration becomes more of an argument. It feels more confrontational than informational.
Tell your story before Best Case Reasoning comes into play. It leads them to your desired conclusion before they even think of the objection. It clears a path so they say “hey, I need your help,” before you get into your pitch and before he overestimates his ability.