We’ve paid our dues. We’ve learned all about our offering and figured out what customers care about. And, ironically, we’re less effective because of it.
The problem is that once we learn something, it becomes very difficult to imagine what it’s like not to know it. Difficult to see it like our customer sees it. It’s the “curse of knowledge” that Chip and Dan Heath write about in their book Made to Stick. Here’s an HBR article about the concept.
Breaking the curse takes practice and discipline. ‘Strategically forgetting’ what we know is counterintuitive and humbling, but is frequently necessary to ensure that our sales dialogues are open-minded and exploratory.
Consider how our approach would differ if we didn’t already have all the answers. Ask questions like a rookie. Play dumb.
Our customers expect us to be a resource, but there’s a fine line between being knowledgeable and knowing too much.