Vague client dissatisfaction? Try "flipping the steak"
"The client doesn't like the script," Karl told me.
"But it covers everything," I replied. "What should I change?"
"He couldn't really say. Just flip the steak."
Karl explained how, back in his waiter days, a diner refused a steak because it wasn't medium rare. The cook insisted it was perfect, flipped the cut of meat, and told Karl to serve it again.
"But it's the same steak!" Karl objected. "Just serve it," insisted the cook. Sure enough, the customer was delighted this time around. "Much better," he smiled.
Ever since, I have applied this technique when clients can't articulate what changes they want, even after patient probing. I move things around. I try alternate wording. I flip the steak.
You're not trying to trick the client. It's just that sometimes, as Karl notes, "It's a matter of perception. Instead of over-reacting and delivering something that may yet again be 'wrong,' a few minor changes can make all the difference."
In this video by an online content company, a beggar's earnings skyrocket after a passer-by rewords his sign. (1:47 min)
But the marketing strategy is essentially the same, in my opinion. Would the new wording really make such a difference?
Lively Writing, on Time and on Target
When your message needs to engage and persuade, be sure to approach it from the Write Angle. Udi Shorr writes marketing and sales-training presentations for live audiences, video, print, and the Web. You benefit from years of marketing experience with Fortune 500 clients.