I Have Windows, Therefore I Need A Window Cleaner

I was at home one afternoon last week on a brief stopover between meetings.

An urgent email demanded my time NOW, as did the cat (who was both surprised and pleased that a gullible human with access to biscuits had shown up during the barren hours of the day). I was putting one aside to deal with the other when there was a knock at the door.

It was a short, rather grubby looking man with a clipboard and an ingratiating expression. “Need a window cleaner?” he asked, and I said no, thank you, we already have one.

Not entirely true, but kinder than “No, thank you, I wouldn’t want you peering in my windows clocking my valuables” which is what I really thought.

What struck me, though, was the way he carried on his pitch even as I was closing the door.

“I do the jobs you hate to do!”

Now, that may or may not be true, but the whole episode raised a number of questions for me.

Just because I have windows, do I need a window cleaner?

If I already have a window cleaner, should I constantly be alert to competing bucket and sponge outfits?

If I don’t have one, is it fair to assume that I a) don’t bother cleaning my windows or b) don’t mind cleaning them myself?

I was indulging myself in this metaphysical twaddle when I tripped over the cat.

After calm had been restored, I realised what was bugging me. I’d already said no. I’d given him my reason, yet he persisted with the argument he wanted to make.

And I wondered how often we all do the same thing with our customers and prospects.

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Rod Hirsch is Global Director Brand and Content at Thunderhead. Joining the Thunderhead team in 2010, Rod has spearheaded the development of the Thunderhead voice, building the company’s brand strategy and content and bringing alive its vision and expertise in multi-channel customer engagement. With over 30 years in the business of building brands for B2B clients, Rod has combined strategic thinking and tactical implementation to deliver award-winning programmes for starts-ups and multinationals alike.