We don’t just tell the story of how our products and services work for our clients, our clients have to learn the stories and internalize the message themselves. Personal experience is the glue that holds our offerings and their desires together. Once we understand their experiences and desires, even in general, we can start to determine what type of glue will make our offerings the stickiest. We gain an understanding by paying close attention to how people learn.
Two ways to learn are by losing and by finding our limitations. These apply to us as well but are doubly important when connecting with others. They tell us about how they deal with difficult decisions, self-awareness, and others in general.
We learn by losing when we mess something up. It doesn’t have to be a costly accident but pain can help make it more memorable. Most of us have made a business decision or investment that’s blown up in our faces. When “I don’t want to do that again” meets “this is how we steer people away from doing stuff like that” an immediate recognition of value can form. Their experience is the glue our value proposition sticks to.
We learn by finding our limitations when we see others excel at their work and figure out how to put it to use. There’s great power in outsourcing. I often marvel at just how good others are (and just how bad I am) at a lot of things. A lot of things. Delegation to those who get the job done is like rocket fuel. Mutually recognized boundaries lead to value recognition. Ask for examples of what people outsource in their lives and why. Again, their experience is the glue our value proposition sticks to.
Learning by losing and learning by limitations are just two ways people can come around to saying “I get it.” The underlying structure is the same but it’s the application of personal experience that drives it home. Just asking questions about experiences can open these doors up to us. Ask and listen, then, if appropriate, acknowledge and advise.