The delusion of understanding

Mar 11, 2011

You’re doing what you like best – spitballing with your favorite client.And as a master marketer, you’re doing it right – asking where they hurt, what their pain points are, what keeps them up at night, what they would pay to have fixed.

As she talks, you hear a bunch of stuff that makes little sense – too esoteric, too much ‘in her industry’ for you to easily understand. But then one thing she says makes absolute sense – you see it, you understand it, you know exactly what she means. You can feel at a viscerally level why it’s a source of pain to her, and more importantly, you know exactly how to make that pain go away. This is what you’re good at. This is why you’re a master marketer.

You go back to the office, gather your people, design a solution to your clients problem, sell it to her for $x, and everyone is happy.

But something lurks unresolved, unanswered, in the shadows of the now-darkened conference room you both sat in.

What opportunity dwells in the other 85% of what she shared? How much would she have paid for a solution to the pain that nobody understands but her? If she will pay you $x for the resolution of what you instantly understood, what will she pay someone else who is prepared to push beyond, to the pain where she feels alone, unsupported, answer-less?

3 times $x? 30 times $x? 300 times $x?