One of my regular stops in the blogosphere is remarkable communication written by Sonia Simone, which is aimed at helping online marketers write and think better.
She wrote a post last week called A Toddler's Guide To Salemanship which drew analogies between talking to customers and talking to three-year-olds.
It reminded me of something my daughter used to do when she was a kid. We called it "Twelve Degrees of Why." It went like this:
"Dad, why do the stars go away during the day?"
"They don't go away."
"Then why can't we see them?"
"Uh...because the sun's light is stronger and drowns them out."
"Why is the sun's light stronger?"
"Um...because it's closer."
"Why is it closer?"
And on and on....
The interesting thing was that at the end of the interrogation, I found out if I really understood something or not.
It's much the same with clients. A smart client, like a smart kid, is a pain in the ass who wants to know "why." And the more they press you, the more you find out whether you really know what you're talking about.
Clients are just toddlers with money.