November 28, 2018

Where should I put the tuba?

The Subaru Outback is the perfect vehicle. It’s ideal in every way. Power, acceleration, torque, safety features, gas mileage, storage capacity, cup holders, USB ports, etc. All perfect.

In fact, the Subaru Outback is so perfect that I bought two of them. Both red. Because red is the perfect color, obviously.

(Seriously, we own twin red Outbacks. And yes, we call them Fred and George.)

Of course, I’m being a bit facetious. The Subaru Outback is not the perfect vehicle for everyone. It’s perfect for me and my current needs.

For people who need to plow snow or deliver pallets of cement or transport high school marching bands, a Subaru Outback would be far from ideal.

Why does this matter?

This matters because it’s easy to forget that not everyone has the same needs we have. Or the same world view. Or the same beliefs. Or the same hopes or dreams or worries or fears.

This is problematic in lots of situations, not the least of which being: working with clients.

A Subaru Outback is a solution. I happen to love this solution but as we’ve established, it’s not for everyone.

If you have a solution that you are in love with - and you have decided to try to make a living selling it to clients - you’re probably going to have a hard time reliably creating high value outcomes.

Instead, you’ll spend your time trying to convince potential clients that what you offer is what they need, whether you’re right or not.

It’d be like trying to convince a marching band director that what they really needs is a fleet of Outbacks instead of selling them a school bus.

This is called “solution-first thinking” and it’s a tough way to do business.