Long ago and far away, I was hired to help my first IT firm with their sales.

They hired me because they knew something about themselves: they had the Curse of Knowledge. As far as information technology was concerned, they knew about every bell and whistle.

The problem? Their target market, medium-sized businesses, did not. The executives at those firms neither knew nor wanted to know the technical details...beyond having a functional IT infrastructure.

So I was hired as a kind of translator: IT-to-Businessese, if you will.

Since then, I've noticed the Curse of Knowledge present in almost every kind of business. The swimming pool company owner figures everyone knows about swimming pools. The guy down in the mail room thinks everybody knows what a tough job he has, and all the details he must manage. And when it comes to selling, the Curse of Knowledge kills sales quick.

Here's a video about the Curse of Knowledge, and two things you can do to alleviate it:

So be aware of the Curse. Ask for the "question behind the question". And break things down into little chunks to make adaptation of new ideas less jarring.