Stick A Fork In It (Issue 872)

In which we reminded to focus prospects on potential bad outcomes if they persist with “business as usual.”

“I think you should put a fork in it. It’s done.”

So spoke my mechanic, sharing his opinion about my beloved 2001 Saab 9-5.

“You’ve got oil seeping into your engine coolant. That’s either a head gasket or the oil cooler. Expensive, either way.  You’re seeing puffs of smoke when you start the car. That’s your turbocharger.  Also, expensive. And you’re telling me that your defroster vents and controls are not working. That can be $1000 or more to fix, too.   Buy a new car. “

“But,” I replied, “the rest of the car is in great shape.  I’ve taken terrific care of it. How about replacing the engine? Are there rebuilt Saab car engines around?”

‘No…. It’s time for all the bells and whistles in a new car that you can drive under warranty for the next 100,000 miles. You’ll like that much better.”

“But, I love this car,” I said. “I’ll think about it.” And I started looking on line for lower mileage Saab engines.

In which we reminded to focus prospects on potential bad outcomes if they persist with “business as usual.”

“I think you should put a fork in it. It’s done.”

So spoke my mechanic, sharing his opinion about my beloved 2001 Saab 9-5.

“You’ve got oil seeping into your engine coolant. That’s a head gasket. Expensive.  You’re seeing puffs of smoke when you start the car. That’s your turbocharger. Expensive. And you’re telling me that your defroster vents and controls are not working. Expensive. Don’t put more money into this car.   Buy a new one. “

“But,” I replied, “the rest of the car is in great shape.  I’ve taken terrific care of it. How about replacing the engine? Are there rebuilt Saab car engines around?”

‘No…. It’s time for all the bells and whistles in a new car that you can drive under warranty for the next 100,000 miles. You’ll like that much better.”

“But, I love this car,” I said. “I’ll think about it.” And I started looking on line for lower mileage Saab engines.

In due course, I shared with a friend the story about the engine and the defroster.

“Replacement engine or not, you’ll have a real problem come November if the defroster doesn’t work,” he replied. “You won’t be able see or drive the car.”

Excellent point.  Sigh…. Deal breaker.

People are more likely to make a change to avoid a bad outcome than they are to gain a better one. Sometimes our prospects grow attached to vendors or programs (or cars!) and they hang on, sometimes, well past the point that they should make a change… until someone (that could be us) points out the bad things that may or will happen if they continue with their business as usual.

 

Nick Miller is President of Clarity Advantage based in Concord, MA. He assists banks and credit unions to generate more and more profitable relationships, faster, with business clients, their owners, and their employees. Additional articles on Clarity’s web site.

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