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Right Problem; Wrong Solution

By Joey Havens

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When the weather starts to get cold, heaters crank up and I spend time at deer camp where the water is hard and my skin begins to get dry. After five days at camp over Thanksgiving, I’m worn out and headed to bed early. Last thing I do is put some lotion on to help my skin because I know CeCe will ask.

Sliding into bed, I’m amazed to find CeCe is already in bed before me. That never happens. I whisper, “Night, Baby, Love you!”

Love you too!

A minute later, I hear: “What’s that smell?!”

What smell? 

That smell in the bed, did you put lotion on?

Yes, I did. Aren’t you proud I remembered?

What lotion did you put on?

I don’t know.

Where did you get it?

It was in the cabinet and it said Caress. 

No wonder you smell so strong — that’s soap you idiot!

All I can hear is laughter and I am laughing so hard my eyes are tearing up.  

Well, get up and get it off. That’s the worst thing for dry skin.

Grabbing a wet bath cloth, it immediately starts foaming up everywhere I wipe. My gosh, I am not making any progress.  

You are probably going to have to get in the shower, chimes my favorite voice from the bedroom.

Did you put it on your face?

Well, yes.

Get in the shower!

After I rinse completely, CeCe is there with some actual lotion for my face and body. And we both start laughing again.  

This reminds me of the airplane ride home when I used the hotel lotion after you told me not to.

This incident struck a chord with me as I have visited several clients the last few months, and many of them are applying soap when they need lotion.

Businesses are trying to solve new problems and issues with the wrong solutions or solutions that only treat the symptoms, not the root problems. In many situations, they are making their problem worse, just like my application of soap to dry skin.  

This is where our advisory mindset can help us understand the issues and how to address them. Being curious, asking questions and listening to understand can tell us so much about what a client is facing. There’s so much opportunity in the market to provide more guidance and deliver real, high-value solutions.

I wrote a five-part blog series in 2018 on developing an advisory mindset and how we can meet our clients at their pain points. Over the next few weeks, we will revisit these blogs with some updates that I think you will find fascinating. Those blogs were so spot-on for where our profession has headed. We need to get in the shower and come out with a clean slate so we can capitalize on these market opportunities.  

And now for the rest of the story… I did not have the heart to tell CeCe had put this soap on as lotion for the last two nights. I just couldn’t. #beBetter