Another of my favourite books I read my kids every night is "The Very Cranky Bear", by Nick Bland, my son received this book from Santa this year and it quickly became the most requested book in the house.
The imagery is great, the story funny, simple and moving... and yet an amazing learning lesson for Consultants and/or Customer Service professionals.
"In the jingle jangle jungle, on a cold and windy day, four furry friends found somewhere warm to play"
OK this is where is gets hairy... forgive the pun... our four main heros include, Moose, with marvelous antlers, Lion, a golden mane, Zebra had fantastic stripes, and Sheep, now sheep was plain.
None of them had noticed, that sleeping in their sanctuary of a cave was a bear... a Very Cranky Bear to be precise (AKA THE CLIENT) ... who chased them out of the cave into the cold, wet weather with a number of well placed, loud "ROARs!"
The four friends were pretty disappointed with this outcome, and decided that there had to be a reason for this bear to be so cranky, (apart from them interrupting his slumber of course) and that if they could make him happy, he'd simply let them share.
Zebra was the brains of this outfit... who couldn't see the responsibility but could see the solution. Zebra loved his wonderful stripes, they always made him happy... therefore is this bear had stripes.. he'd be happy too.. Simple problem solved...? Moose interjects with the thought that Stripes are a bore..., his antlers always made him smile.. "let's give that bear a pair"... Lion disagrees with confidence "no no no no no" says lion "antlers are a bore" " a golden mane like mine, will cheer him up for sure". Alrighty then... 3 of our 4 hero's go collecting things to ensure that they will make Bear happy.
This leads to one of the funniest pictures I have seen in ages.. reminds me of the old saying that a camel is a horse designed by committee.
Needless to say, but the Bear, now sporting new stripes, mane and antlers is not impressed.... he gets angry again, and chases out helpful hero's out of his cave. On his way back into the cave, he stops and Roars and the unsuspecting Sheep. "All I really want.. is a quiet place to SLEEP"
Armed with this information, Sheep, shaves of half his wool, makes a pillow for our Cranky Bear. This makes the Cranky Bear happy and he soon falls fast asleep, maybe dreaming of a plain but thoughtful sheep.
Here's my link:
Sheep, was the only consultant... Sheep listened to the problem, accepted responsibility, acted, invested personally in the solution and won over the client... whereas the others tried to impose their own solution on the Client's problem and were magnificently unsuccessful.
You need to listen to your client, find out where their pain is, what the problem really is and from there formulate your strategy from there. Ask the dumb questions, clarify, and get that tailored solution for your client.. that will get you remembered.. boost your unique value proposition, and will have turned that Cranky Bear client of yours into a client for life!