Asking the right questions

How many times do we find ourselves in situations where we didn’t ask the right questions? I can rattle off at least a dozen situations from investments to personal situations where if I had asked the right questions, it would have kept me from getting into a situation that I didn’t want to be in.

Many times a misunderstanding is not because anyone lied or did something wrong. It is simply that what you assumed is not what the other party assumed. In our business, I have learned to always cover up front how the money will be split after it is closed. In the brokerage world, assuming something on your own generally will cause you a great headache. When we list a hotel for sale we always try to cover the splits upfront because the worst thing you can do in our line of work is wait until the deal is about to close to discuss money.

Personally situations are no different. How many time have we assumed something only to find out the other person assumed something totally different? It is always, always, always far easier to discuss things upfront before something happens, than to try and correct it after the fact. There was this teenager that wanted to go to a party at a friend’s house. He told his parents that the friend’s parents were going to be at the house. What he didn’t tell his parents was that the friend’s parents were going to be at the house after the party, not during. Well you can guess what happened. There were police involved etc and it could have been all averted if the boy’s parents had asked the right questions.

Years ago I was involved in selling a company where I would remain after closing to help run the company. The buyer was completely truthful and honest and was actually a very good guy. We just went through the closing having assumed that the operations and overhead of the company would remain intact for the new owner. Again, notice the word assumed. Well about 3 weeks after we closed, I really found out the buyer’s plans for the company. There was not one single thing the buyer said he would do that he did not do. The problem was I didn’t ask a couple of pretty important questions before we closed. Had I asked those questions, I would not have sold the company.

Such as in our personal life with family and friends. Ask the detailed questions and that way you won’t be surprised with the outcome. KT

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