What is an Expensive Sentence?
Expensive Sentences™ cost your company time, money, and opportunity. They’re phrases we hear often, and they generally go unquestioned. But left alone, they reinforce thinking that leads to waste, overpayment, and bad decisions. The words your team uses don’t simply reflect beliefs, they build your culture.
Example: The setting is the first meeting with an SVP who needs to buy a major software system. The procurement guy (that’s you) is brought in because it will be a multi-million dollar purchase. You ask for some background on the project… and you listen carefully:
- “Well, we already know who we’re going to buy from…”
- “We’re under major time pressure here – we have to go live next month.”
- “The Board has approved an ample budget, so we don’t need to waste time negotiating.”
- “We know what we need, let’s not get bogged down in analysis.”
(You can feel your leverage evaporating and hear the “ca-ching” of the cash register in your head.)
These are Expensive Sentences™. Any one could lead to paying far more than you need to. Worse, they could result in a bad buying process and the wrong decision, which could have far-reaching negative impact on the company.
The sentences are not necessarily wrong – most are at least partially true. Nor do they imply stupidity: they often spring from the mouths of brilliant and successful business leaders. But they reflect attitudes or beliefs which – if not challenged – are likely to be highly costly.
If you’ve read this far, then YOU are part of the solution – one of the brave souls who will challenge Expensive Sentences™ and improve the way your company thinks and makes decisions. The goal of this resource is to provide conversational tactics that are easily used and highly influential.
Are we meeting our goal? I welcome all feedback that will make this a better resource for you.