0017: Don’t Recommend Anything To Anyone Without Doing This First.
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Hey there, hero!
I was forwarded a post on Facebook that the person who sent it to me thought I might find interesting, and for which I might have a useful answer: a question about what mic to use.
And as I was about to answer, I scanned the other answers to make sure I could add value, and…I was shocked.
What I saw made me realize the mistake I and others have been making (and every single response in the thread I was looking at made the same mistake).
I say, let’s fix this right now. Here’s the one thing we all need to do before making any recommendations to anyone.
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I don’t know about you but as a
performing professional I get asked all
the time what kind of mic do you use
what kind of camera do you use where do
you find auditions what it give me a
recommendation on something I’m sure you
get asked those same questions all the
time and I think we’re all making a very
serious mistake if we don’t do one thing
before we answer and I make them astray
this mistake all the time I do and I
promise I’ll be better at it so let’s
learn together in this episode of the vo
hey there hero I’m David H Lawrence the
17th and I get asked all the time what
my favorite mic is camera lights
websites you know how do you set up your
space all of these things that are
basically I don’t know what I’m doing
I’d like to know what I’m doing and I
need some help trying to figure out what
would work best for me and what brought
this up was I was forwarded a Facebook
post from another group that I’m in
other than the vo Heroes group and it’s
not a group of performers it’s a group
of internet marketers and so the
question was what microphone should I
use when I’m creating lessons for a
course that I’m creating and that was
the entire question and what I saw was a
litany of answers things like oh I use
the snowball I use the Yeti I use the
rode podcaster I use you know a hundred
different you know this is the mic that
I use and I love it so people were
trying to be helpful but what I noticed
was something missing not one single
person was asking how their setup was
what they were using it for were they on
camera or were they just doing voiceover
you know I’m just as guilty as anybody
else when somebody says what’s your
favorite microphone my knee-jerk
reaction is I use the at2020 USB plus
right but if I used it for video it
would be in the shot and I’d have to
lean in and you know it’s just it’s not
but nobody asked this person how they
were producing their lessons how they
were producing their class
and I think that really illustrates a
mistake that we all make I make it all
the time I’m ready with an answer I want
to be your consultant your go-to
question and answer guy so I’m gonna
tell you right off the bat what I use
and I love yeah I think we should all
step back and do one thing first and
that is ask some questions what are you
gonna use this for how much money do you
have to spend what exactly kind of what
kind of result do you want what have you
tried before what is it that you don’t
like about what you’re using now all of
these things can help inform a better
more useful recommendation rather than
oh I use the at2020 USB plus and I love
it you should do that again I’m just as
guilty as anybody else so here’s what
I’m gonna commit to you and I hope that
you’ll take this and maybe run with it a
little bit when somebody asks you for
your opinion on something or a
recommendation on a service or a product
or a piece of software or a device
before you immediately tell them what
you use and why you like it find out if
there’s alignment between their needs
and your situation if there is great you
can say that but asking a few simple
questions just querying them so that you
get an idea of what their metric for
success is what they’re gonna measure
the success of this choice with you know
I saw these people and I stopped I was
gonna post myself and I was gonna say no
no you need a shotgun mic because what
I’m reading here is that you’re doing
video you can’t use any of those other
mics they’re closed play mics
and then I thought no I need to ask more
questions and I think we all do so what
do you think of that
you’ve got something that that we can
all do better if you had situations
where you’ve asked for recommendations
but you just didn’t feel like people
were getting you know I’m not looking to
cut the wood with a saw I’m looking you
know handsaw I want a power saw or
whatever I commit to you that I will ask
more questions and I would love it if
you would consider doing the same thing
when you make recommendations even if
you’re recommending I don’t know a
voice-over coach or a voiceover
curriculum ask questions all right what
do you think of that leave me a comment
below if you’re watching on vo heroes
com or if you’re listening or if you’re
on a podcast channel pop over to vo
heroes com go to the article section
this is the first one you’ll find and
tell me what your thoughts are on this
would you like it if people were just a
little bit more conscious of what your
needs are before they gave you a
recommendation don’t just recommend ask
that’s my admonition alright I promise I
will do a better job of that as well
I’m David H Lawrence xvii I thank you so
much for watching and or for listening
and I will talk to you soon.
Amen! This is a timely reminder. It’s also a good reminder to give as much information as possible when first poising the question.
Good call! I think the ease of posting comments has diminished peoples’ patience and thoughtfulness, and it has enabled knee-jerk opinions to become the norm. Hence why so many comment threads inevitably devolve into arguments that have nothing to do with the original topic.
Right. The bottom line is that there is no “one size fits all.“ As much as you might like to, you cannot make a recommendation until you have ascertained the values of several variables, like the ones you mentioned. You can’t solve the equation without plugging in the values for these variables! In the end, it isn’t an exact science.
Remember: It’s not about *you*! It’s about the asker, and his or her specific case. If you only answer with what works for you, you will have done them a disservice.
Agreed 100%. Too many answers without knowing who you’re talking to, or what their needs are.
I wrote a post a while back on Advice:
Awesome advice!!! You’re awesome David, I’ve been watching you since before your 365 day challenge and I think you’re just a total gem! Thanks for all the inspiration.
Oh yes, that is a ..oh duh (slap forehead).
Thanks for bringing this up.
I lpok forward to more insight and reminders.
Señor DHL. MY mistake would be saying (to you) something like “DUH. Of course you ask questions first!”. (and currently snorting out loud at the mere image of that happening) But, as you say, that is not an obvious first choice for anyone wanting to help out or voice your own opinion. My next mistake would be going on and on about this, so I’ll just stop now. Many thanks.
Great reminder. I done both. And not sure why I don’t remember to ask the questions first. Sometimes even when just talking about things generally though, in my head i’m explaining my reason for something and then realize, oh sorry, this is why I’m asking. lol. shrug
Agreed David! In fact, as a product designer and engineer, the first thing we need to ask is “what is the problem we’re trying to solve” – “what do customers *need* (not necessarily want)”. Extensive customer interviews are required to really get a successful product to market. This is very tough to do right, but is the first step to great products and services; observed in 30 years of my career. Too many corporate marketing departments and executive managers think they know what a customer “wants”, spend a ton of money on R&D, only to fail in the market. Great advice – thanks for sharing!
David – that is spot on! As a product designer and engineer for 30 years, the biggest mistake most corporations make in getting a product to market is thinking they *know* what the customer *wants*, instead of asking “what is the problem we are trying to solve?” It takes 100s of hours of excruciating interviews, surveys, and even “walk a real day in their shoes” to pull out what they *need*. Great post – thanks for sharing!
Oops – I posted twice. Sry…lol.