Lead Them

Imagine that you have a minor health issue – a lingering cough that doesn’t seem to go away.  After a few days without improvement, you schedule a visit with your doctor.  You describe the problem to him, anxious for a quick remedy.  Instead, you’re given four potential solutions:

  1. Take this cough syrup, OR
  2. Gargle with salt water, OR
  3. Drink lots of fluids, OR
  4. Take a teaspoon of honey

“Which one should I choose?”, you ask, uncertain of the path to take.  “You pick” replies your doctor, and you leave his office more frustrated than you came.

This happens all the time in the business world.  A customer has a problem, and asks us to help.  Instead of listening carefully, weighing the options, and presenting the best solution, we give them choices, afraid that if we present a single solution, we’ll run the risk of losing the deal.

You may think your customers appreciate having lots of choices, but they (like patients) actually hate this smorgasbord approach.  They likely already know what their “options” are, or if not, can easily find someone who can tell them.  That’s the easy part.

The hard part (but what they really want) is the solution to the problem.  They want the answer.  In short, they want to be led, and with conviction.  So lead them.

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2 Responses to “Lead Them”

  1. Wil Says:

    Reminds me of a great scene in Braveheart. Robert the Bruce tells William Wallace that the people want to follow Wallace, but not himself. Wallace says “They will follow you. If you would just LEAD them!”

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