Look, Your Shoe’s Untied!

Do you remember when you were a kid, and another kid would say something like this, to distract you? We recently had a grown-up experience of just this kind of distraction. You may or may not know about us, that we live in an 80-plus-year-old-house. With that, go inevitable repairs. Right now, it’s the roof.

So yesterday, through a confluence of events, two different contractors showed up at virtually the same time, to give us an estimate of what work needs to stop our leak. One individual took his time, walked around, asked lots of questions, asked to see various access points in our attic and viewed the roof from lots of different perspectives. The second was annoyed on a number of fronts: he arrived second (in some circles, “started off on the back foot”). He was also perturbed at being stuck with the distaff side of our partnership (“I wish I knew what your husband wanted to do – it would be easier to give you the right advice”). But most interesting of all, he spent most of his time trying to figure out what “the other guy” was telling us (looking at his untied shoe) as we took turns spending time with each of them.

What does all this mean to you? That sometimes when you’re with a customer, you can let yourself be distracted by a competitor. Contractor #1 went about his process, gathering the information he needed, and giving advice along the way. Contractor #2 showed that he was more focused on the competitor than the customer, (not to mention that he didn’t take time to understand that in our household, we’re a partnership, and don’t respond to divide-and-conquer). So although we highly advocate knowing what the competition is up to, if you’re in a situation where your customer is receptive, ready, and willing to consider what you have to offer, and your competitor is standing right there, perhaps the place to focus isn’t your untied shoe.

Focusing on our customers,

Megann & Steve


Make better decisions, get better results, grow your business. We use a deep toolkit of specialized techniques help clarify your objectives, identify decisions that must be made, and eliminate knowledge gaps, resulting in strategy with a firmer foundation and better results.

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