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Problem solving with some help from Seinfeld

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So, it’s a show…about nothing?

I have been wanting to write a blog post for a while – in my thought process, I came up with the idea of writing a blog post about NOTHING – the basic premise of every episode of the popular 90s sitcom, Seinfeld.  Then it came to me:

Have you ever seen that episode of Seinfeld where Kramer gets a new phone number that is one digit off from the phone number for Movie Phone? He gets caught up giving movie reviews and showtimes to people – gathering info from his own newspaper.  George Costanza calls (the wrong number, of course) to get times for the new movie, Chunnel, and Kramer is putting on a great informational facade, including mimicking the Movie Phone recorded operator, and requesting that callers punch in their answers using their keypads.  He was obviously not able to differentiate between the various beeps of the keys pressed, so eventually ended up asking, in frustration, “Why don’t you just tell me the name of the movie you’ve selected?”

Oddly enough, this phrase has come to mind many times as I try to solve the day-to-day questions as a member of the Haley Marketing technical support team.  A client asks for something specific – and after an exchange of questions and answers, the best solution usually comes from problem solving with the following questions:

“What are you trying to accomplish?”
“What problem are you trying to solve?”

(Of course, in my head, I start it out with “Why don’t you just tell me…” and am saying it in the same accent and intonation as Kramer when he finally realizes he isn’t going to understand the sound of someone typing “Agent Zero” or “Chunnel” with their keypad.)

Asking the right questions is a large part of delving into the needs of your clients – and is integral in coming up with the best solutions to the myriad of questions and/or problems you may face on any given day in your business. And when you have an issue you need help with, flip it around and tell whomever you’re going to for help exactly what your goal is – maybe they’ll come up with something you didn’t think of, or even know was possible.

If you weren’t into 90s sitcoms, here’s a clip from the show to get you up to speed.

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