Apart from a few odd individuals, people don’t buy power tools so they can slip into the garage and caress them. They buy an electric drill because they need a hole in the wall.
In other words, when you need to establish what a business needs—whether they are a prospect or a client—it’s as well not to take the first thing they say at face value.
So, if John says he needs an electric drill, he’s really saying he needs a hole in the wall. And perhaps there is a cheaper, quicker or more effective way of making that hole (like a pointed stick, perhaps).
But… does someone really need a hole in the wall? Perhaps they are making an avant garde art installation. Probably not. More likely, John needs to be able to make holes in the wall because he needs to put up a bookshelf. That’s much more plausible.
But is it the end of the story? After all, a bookshelf in itself is not usually a lovely object to have on the wall. No, John needs a bookshelf to house the books which are currently piled up on the floor.
Is that the end of the story? As it happens, John is tired of being nagged—sorry, reminded—by his partner that he said some time ago he would do something about those books, and what he really needs is for the reminding to stop.
As it happens, things haven’t been going well between John and his partner and the row about the books is just one example of, unfortunately, many. Probably what John really needs is some relationship counselling.
So, as I said, it pays not to take things at face value.
Of course, the books do have to be housed and a bookshelf is probably a good way of doing this. It is a problem—but not the problem.
by Jeremy Marchant . © 2013 Jeremy Marchant Limited . uploaded 28 june 2013 . images: Free images