An F-150 with a New Engine on it

I thought this was kind of funny:

I needed help moving some furniture into my new office, and so I put an ad on Craigslist. The response above struck me as kind of funny.

An F-150 Truck with a New Engine on it

Why would I care about the condition of this guy’s truck engine? Of course I want his truck not to break down during the move, but aside from that it simply doesn’t matter to me.

I want the result of my furniture moved from point a to point b without damage and without unnecessary hassle.

I am not that different than your clients. They want a result, proof that you can achieve that result, and ROI on the money and time they put into getting that result.

The result matters way more than how you achieve it, though there are times when you’ll need to explain how you get the result, and there are cases (staff augmentation being the prime one) where a client will expect to dictate how you achieve the result.

ROI is often a financial outcome, but not always. I pay way more money than I’d like to for peace of mind via insurance, for example. Your clients often do that too.

The point here is this: don’t lead with inputs. Don’t start the conversation with bragging about your process which is the equivalent of your “F-150 with a New Engine” on it.

Instead, start with how well you understand your client’s problem. Impress them with your diagnosis first, then let the rest of conversation flow from that.

Impressing a client with your diagnosis starts with positioning. Get a straightforward, how-to guide here: http://thepositioningmanual.com

Talk to you soon,
-P

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