- The university you decided to attend was rated in the top 10 in US News and World Report.
- The company where you passed on the offer had terrible reviews on Glassdoor.
- The candidate you hired was charismatic and personable in the interview.
- The product you bought had 5-star reviews on the company website.
- The vehicle warranty you purchased will pay for itself after just one dent.
- It’s a risk-free trial with a full money-back guarantee.
All of these decisions sound reasonable and logical. But, here is what you missed by not digging beneath the surface:
- Those university ratings were based on administrator peers reviews (yes, this is true – look it up), not student reports on job placement, financial aid or faculty quality ratings. Dig deeper.
- Your (would-have-been) direct boss is a respected thought-leader in the industry, and has launched the careers of many successful team members, whereas the Glassdoor Reviewers were in a different department and lasted less than one year with the company (note: online reviews tend to attract more complaints than praise – dig deeper).
- Your charismatic new employee is a serial job hopper with little to show in terms of significant achievements in his past roles. The shy candidate you overlooked had a track record of exceeding expectations with clients and a list of esteemed referrals. Dig deeper.
- Customers were given the product for free in return for a favorable online rating. Oh, and only the positive comments from the feedback write-ups made it into the online reviews. Dig deeper.
- For the warranty to be valid, the dent must be smaller than a nickel in size without any noticeable paint damage or scratches. Dig deeper.
- The money-back guarantee doesn’t include shipping and handling costs or restocking fees. And, it was only valid within 7 days of the purchase date. Dig deeper.
It’s easy to see what we want to see, especially when we’re tired, overworked, or ready to be done with the decision-making process. However, it’s worth making the effort to dig deeper when a decision has the potential to be long-term, costly, or difficult to undo.
The extra time you invest up front will likely save you twice as much time (or money) on the tail end.