Start Simple. Assume Nothing. (Issue 1080)

In which we are reminded to first check the basics when we are assessing client challenges.

“I have no heat in my car…which isn’t great since the temperature this week is in the teens and 20’s.”

I was chatting with a friend when this point came up. “I took it to the car dealership; they said this is pretty typical, that it’s a complicated problem, and that I would need to pay somewhere between $900 and $1,800 to fix it. They said they would have to take out the dashboard and air bag to get to it. I don’t want to take out the dashboard or spend that kind of money on this car.”

“I think you should see another mechanic and get a second opinion.”

“Yeah, good point,” he said.

A few days later, we spoke again. “How’s it going with the car heat?”, I asked.

“You’ll never believe it,” he said. “I took the car to an independent mechanic. He said it would probably be somewhere between $400 and $800 to fix the problem. So, I thanked him and went to get gas.”

“So, you’re no further along, then?”

“So, I pulled into the gas station and a guy who, I guess, is a mechanic working there came out to fill up the car and I told him what was happening. So, he said, ‘Pop the hood,’ which I did, and he took off the radiator cap, pulled out his flashlight to look into the radiator, and said, ‘I can’t see any coolant here.’ So, I bought an $8.00 container of engine coolant, filled up the radiator, and now I have heat!”

So, while I was wondering how recently my friend last checked his car fluids and how soon his engine might have overheated and seized because of low coolant levels, I thought, “From the gas station mechanic, we learn: ‘start simple’ and ‘assume nothing’.”

Maybe our deep interventions or formidable wizardry would be helpful to our clients. But first, make sure there’s enough coolant in their radiators. Start simple. Assume nothing.

Nick Miller and Clarity train banks and bankers to attract and develop deeper relationships with small businesses. Many more Sales Thoughts like this and a host of other articles and resources at .


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