February 19, 2021

Self-Diagnoses and Hammer Blindness

Some problems have only one effective solution.

Some solutions fix only one type of problem.

But it’s rare for these one-to-one mappings to occur.

In fact, I can’t even think of one off the top of my head.

If you can think of one, hit reply and let me know.


Make sure you’re not falling into one of these two traps:

1) Self-Diagnosis - Buyers who are working with limited knowledge will sometimes self-diagnose and prescribe the only solution that they are aware of.

Then, they reach out to sellers who provide this solution and ask for it directly.


“Hey doc! My chest has been hurting. I googled around and apparently I need a triple bypass. When can we start?”

The issue here is not that there is actually only one solution to the client’s problem, it’s that the client is only aware of one solution and is asking for it directly.

A doctor would never accept a client’s self-diagnosis and neither should you.

2) Hammer Blindness - Sellers who only sell one thing have a tendency to see their solution as the only solution to a wide range of problems that actually have lots of potential solutions.

As the old saying goes, “When you only sell hammers, everything looks like a nail.”

If you only do “software development” or “web design” or “copywriting” you have a strong financial incentive to sell that solution to any prospective client who comes your way (because it’s either that or not make the sale).

But if you stop thinking of yourself as “someone who does X” and instead as “someone who knows how to do X” you can package your expertise in a variety of ways, and at a wide range of prices.

Here’s the thing...

It’s the absolute worst when a buyer who has badly self-diagnosed connects with a seller who has hammer blindness.


Because the buyer ends up paying way too much money for a solution that probably won’t even fix their problem.


Don’t let this happen to you. Do yourself - and your clients - a big favor by:

  1. Validating any self-diagnoses given to you by prospective clients, and
  2. Offering a range of products and services that can be applied to the kind of problems you want to solve.