(We’re excited to welcome Ryan Patrick as a contributing editor to The Daily Blur in 2013. He’s not only handsome but a mighty fine writer. You’re going to like him. A lot. You can check out his growing archive of posts here.)
Setting: Doctor’s Office
YOU: Doc, my stomach hurts.
DOC: Here. Put this on your head.
YOU: What is it?
DOC: A revolutionary new device to prevent migraines.
YOU: But my head doesn’t hurt. It’s my stomach.
DOC: Yes, but this is the latest technology. Look at all the flashing lights!
End of scene
Not as crazy as you might think.
Two weeks ago, I traveled to Nashville to speak at the DECA Tennessee conference. According to their website, “DECA prepares emerging leaders and entrepreneurs in marketing, finance, hospitality and management in high schools and colleges around the globe.” So, yeah, these are super smart kids. They’re going places.
While I was there, I agreed to judge a role-play competition. Six groups of two students were given a scenario with only thirty minutes to put their ideas together before presenting them to the “client” (me).
I assumed the role of a marketing director for a chic boutique who was seeking guidance in the area of email newsletters. The students were instructed to counsel me in my efforts to increase the frequency of email newsletters without turning off our audience.
Simple instructions, right?
Four of the six teams didn’t even talk about email newsletters.
Instead, they talked about website design, social media, and mobile apps. Why? Because that’s what they love. In the world of web, Twitter, and iPhones, they’re the experts. And, not surprisingly, they were able to back up their ideas with impressive statistics.
But they didn’t answer my question.
In fact, of the two teams who DID talk about email newsletters, only one effectively tackled my problem.
These kids thought they were trying to help. Instead, they were showing off.
Are you doing the same thing?
Your customers have issues. They’re looking to you for answers.
Are you listening?
Are you drilling deep to uncover a solution to their problems?
Are you answering the questions they’re asking?
Are you scratching their itch?
Are you proving that you are, indeed, the expert in your field?
Or are you just showing off?