Continuing on our journey to OZ from last week we find ourselves in the company of another wonderful character… the Scarecrow. Along the trip to see the great OZ the scarecrow and Dorothy have lots of time to sing, dance, and talk. One of the conversations goes like this….
Scarecrow: “I haven't got a brain... only straw.”
Dorothy: “How can you talk if you haven't got a brain?”
Scarecrow: “I don't know... But some people without brains do an awful lot of talking... don't they?”
Dorothy: “Yes, I guess you're right.”
A lot of talking about our “stuff” with folks that we want to have as clients. Without any realization that they ABSOLUTELY do not care about our stuff at all. How could that possibly be? Our stuff is so great. Our stuff is world-class. Our stuff…. Talking without using our brain, just spitting out all of the product features and wonderful “benefits” that we could deliver if ONLY the client had a brain and chose us to supply their stuff.
Well, lets get very real. Today more than ever, the desire by people to change from using their known good stuff, is at its lowest ever. Change brings fear of failure and possible personal repercussions. Why should they shift from what they have been doing for so long that has been working to something unknown and unproven. Not going to happen…. Unless you can prove a possible outcome that is of more value to them than their current situation and has NO risk. That last part is really tough.
During the journey, the travelers reach many roadblocks and it is the Scarecrow that figures out how to overcome them. When the team reaches OZ the Wizard finally gives the Scarecrow a "brain" (which is just some pins and needles mixed with bran) the Scarecrow gains the confidence he needs to feel good about himself. But the smart thoughts? Those he's had all along. Just like with Dorothy, the Scarecrow's journey as a character is not about change or growth. As he traveled, the Scarecrow didn't gain something new. He just had the opportunity to use intelligence he already possessed—and, of course, to discover that he possessed it.
So my thought for your consideration this week is the following…. Let’s use our inquisitive BRAIN. And…..
Go out and ASK a client… “what would it take for you to shift from what you are doing today (using XYZ product or service, or working with supplier X, or…you get creative and build the baseline inquiry about “what would it take for you to shift”…. From… not to you… from something else) This is about understanding what they are afraid of, where is the fear, what would worry them. Only once you understand what the challenge is, can you help them solve it. One of their biggest fears should be stated as the challenge of creating change involving others in their own world. Change management is the 800-pound gorilla in the room. And your task is to scare it away. Have fun!
OK, Let’s Roll!