If You Have Not Eaten It, How Do You Know It’s Delicious?

I thought this was a great blog post by Jeremiah Owyang about vendors who recommend solutions to clients but often they themselves don’t even use that solution!

I think that’s the worst possible crime to commit.

Imagine your client asking you for a solution and you propose a solution that you’ve never used!

Do you think your client will believe or trust you?

How the heck would you know if you have yet to try out that solution on your own or used it for yourself?

How do you know it works? (Don’t tell me – you heard someone say it works, therefore it works.)

For example, if you have not done blogging before, how can you propose this to your client when she asks if blogging is worth her time? Or if you’ve not been on Facebook or done some Twittering, how can you say for sure it works or doesn’t work?

OK, let’s not even go that far.

If you have not eaten at a particular restaurant before, how could you recommend that restaurant to your friends?

Apparently, lots of people do that. They have NOT tried it, NOT used it, NOT eaten it, NOT made it but they can pretend they know all the world about it and recommend to friends, clients etc.

If I haven’t done blogging, I would not consult on blogging. If we have not tried and tested our own ecommerce store, we wouldn’t dare sell the solution to our clients. If we have not experienced success with our own website, we would never dare to sell our expertise as web specialists who can bring results for clients.

But it amazes me that so many firms out there dare to sell stuff they’ve never tried using!

(Similarly Nic always says, if you cannot paint, don’t go around being an art critic. Who are you to critique a piece of art if you’ve never held a paint brush in your life? I feel the same way about food critics too. These days there’s plenty of those.)

As an aside, I always ask the people who sell me stuff if they’ve used the stuff they’re selling. The latest episode I encountered was a bank executive. He was going on and on about how fantastic his bank loans were whereupon I turned and asked if HE had ever taken a bank loan from his own bank. He said no.

How about you? Does it irk you if people recommend stuff to you that they’ve never used or won’t be caught dead using? What about vendors who propose stuff they don’t know about? I’m really keen to know what you think!

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