Captain’s log, stardate 20191018
Sent by Jonathan Stark on October 19th, 2019
This conversation just happened between me and my 6yo daughter Maggie:
Maggie (excitedly): “Dad! I wanna go to Mexico!!!”
Me (nervously): “Oh yeah? Why?”
Maggie: “Because they have bumper cars there!!!”
Me: “They have bumper cars in Seekonk, too! Do you want to go to Seekonk?”
Maggie: “Yeah!!! I wanna go to Seekonk!!!”
(You guessed it… Seekonk is like 5 miles from our house. Mexico is like 3,000 miles from our house. )
Here’s the thing…
Clients do this exact same thing all the time. It’s called self-diagnosis.
My 6yo prescribed a “trip to Mexico” as the only remedy to her “I want to drive a bumper car” symptom because she had an incomplete understanding of the actual “cures” available to her.
Once I understood her desired outcome, I was able to suggest an acceptable alternative that was several orders of magnitude less costly and just as effective.
When a prospective client comes to you with a self-diagnosis like “we need a carousel on the home page” or “we need a thirty page white paper” or “we need a three minute explainer video” or “we need ten headshots done” or whatever else… do them (and yourself) a favor by drilling into the request to understand their desired outcome.
You’ll probably find that what seemed like a distant destination is actually right around the corner.
(Of course, this approach will put you out of business if you’re billing by the hour. But you’re not billing by the hour, right? RIGHT?!)