Onion Disruption (Issue 1051)

In which we are reminded to share with clients the full picture of purchasing and implementing a new product or service lest they find it not their taste later on.

A friend tells this story: “Our daughter and her husband came to stay with us for a week. We were delighted to see them; we had planned a full week of activities and reserved tables for dinner at several favorite local eating spots.

A couple of days into our week, they suggested that they would cook dinner; they proposed a made-from-scratch Margherita pizza appetizer followed by a Moroccan tofu sauté and a green salad with mixed greens, chopped cucumber, tomato, and a made-from-scratch lemon vinaigrette salad dressing. Feeling a bit worn out by restaurant dinners, we said, ‘sure, that sounds great!’”

“Sounds wonderful,” I said.

“Yes,” he said, “and, when they started preparing the meal, we felt like we’d been invaded by an alien species. A friendly alien species, and, nevertheless, an alien species.”

“Gosh, what happened?”

“My wife and I don’t cook frequently. We’d rather invest the time in other activities. My daughter and her husband, on the other hand, will happily invest two hours to prepare a dinner. That was a big of a shock. And, then, when they started the sauté, the essence of simmering onions, bell peppers, and garlic filled the house. I ran upstairs to close bedroom doors.

When they opened the oven door to check on the pizza, they discovered that some of the cheese had dropped to the oven floor and burned. Smoke billowed out, setting off the kitchen and living room smoke alarms.

They tidied up and reinserted the pizza. Within minutes, it happened again – smoke and screeching smoke detectors. All the while, the sauté continued to bubble.”

“So,” I asked, “how was the meal?”

“The meal was wonderful. Clean up went quickly. But, the house reeked of sauteed onions. And after all was done, the kids proposed to cook again the following night.”

“I don’t care how we do it,” my friend’s wife said. “We are eating out for the rest of the time they’re here. I do not want to sleep with the smell of onions.”

“They’ve been gone three days. We can still smell the onions.”

Ah, yes. The old “we probably should have discussed this when we initially proposed the idea” problem. Vision of the meal – wonderful. Installation disruption and lingering after-effects – not so much.

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 through better sales strategies and execution. Additional articles on Clarity’s web site.


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