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Sell The Roof, Not The Hammer

10 April 2024

I went to see an Architect today.

You see, I have a sense of what I want my house to look like, but I struggle to articulate it into a defined vision that can be implemented.

So, I thought I’d engage the services of an Architect to help me sift through what is in my head and form it into something cohesive.

I accepted that this would mean they would be asking me questions and challenging me on the ‘why’s’, and that the result may look a little different to what I imagined.

I figured I should go and see a couple of Architects to get a comparison on how they work, what they offer, and what their fees are.

The first one looked good and I explained my issues. They immediately showed me their CAD software and how it could build 3D images and then rotate around them so we could see it from all angles.

It looked very impressive, and they started to show me how it works. They explained how the initial survey results are input to give a base plan and then how the vectors are placed on top to produce the images and continually render them as the ‘camera’ moves around the landscape.

They then showed me several examples of how their software can also be used to assess the thermal efficiency and carbon footprint of a building.

They were very proud of how the calculations are produced and showed me the formula for how an environmental impact assessment could be produced.

I can’t say what happened next as I’d thrown myself out of the window, hoping to impale myself on the railings below.

I figured that would be more fun than listening to any more.

Unfortunately, I missed the railings and landed safely.

Taking this as a sign from God, I thought I might as well go and see the next Architect on my list.

All looked good initially as they patiently listened to where I was at and what I was trying to achieve, whilst probing further as to my motivations.

No software was demonstrated but they picked up on a few contradictions in my methodology and challenged me on why I was thinking about things in such a fixed way.

It jarred a little as I thought I was quite settled on what was in my head, and now they were teasing at the seams and pulling at the loose threads.

I was a little uncomfortable, but I wasn’t looking longingly at the window.

After 30 minutes, they had challenged me sufficiently enough to show that what I thought I wanted, didn’t really suit what I needed it to do.

In fact, a lot of what was in my head was based on preconceptions and things I’d seen in other people’s houses.

I got it, I saw the value and I signed up with them.

I never got to see their software but I’m sure it does what they need it to do.

I never got to see their railings either, but I’m sure they’re nice too.

OK, so I made all that up… but you went along with it didn’t you?

I bet you even rolled your eyes at the software geek guy.


Let’s change two words in that story…

We’ll replace ‘Architect’ with ‘Financial Planner’.

And replace ‘CAD’ with ‘Cashflow Modelling Software’.

The moral of the story is that nobody cares about your tools.

  • Plumbers don’t show you their wrenches, they keep you warm.
  • Bricklayers don’t show you their trowels, they give you shelter.
  • Roofers don’t show you their hammers, they keep you dry.

We care about what they produce with their tools, and how that will benefit our lives – not the tools themselves.

Yes, Cashflow Modelling Software is exciting and yes, it is (still a little) novel.

But it’s just a tool that helps you add value. It is not value in itself.

Who are you more likely to buy into?

Someone who tells you something about their software?

Or someone who shows you something about yourself? – Software, Training & Business Services for Financial Planners


  • End-to-End Lifestyle Financial Planning Process & Software
  • Full Financial Planner Back Office System
  • Coaching for Financial Planners


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