I was impressed/amused by this quote from one of our software vendors: “we would like to offer our help in realizing your requirements”. This was in the context of being invited to a requirements planning session along with other companies who use this vendor’s software. There is a lot of subtle meaning hidden within this sentence. It is a very nice way of saying that you, Mr. Customer, don’t know exactly what you want the software to do, and if we take your suggestions without understanding the problem you are trying to solve, we will develop something that you don’t really want.
In addition, I like the spin that is used in offering to help when the vendor is the one really benefiting from the exercise. Granted, each customer of the vendor may benefit some, but this is only if certain requirements get prioritized into a future version of the software. In fact, after gathering all of the requirements from the customers and getting them prioritized, they may not need a lot of product management for 6-12 months.