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Most people recognize that delayed problem-solving affects the bottom-line.  However, few will take swift action to resolve problems. Today’s story illustrate what can go wrong.

My Story

The standout story is that of a maintenance company.  They claim they don’t have enough time to fix building issues in one community. The property management company that hires the firm was content to let them work at their own pace.  But allowing insufficient insulation around the entry doors is not a good answer during the chilly winter months. The problem-solving effort was to turn up the heat.

‘Penny wise and pound foolish,’ is a proverb that comes to mind.

When pressed for a fix, the maintenance people provided a half-hearted response. A chain of email followed.  The messaging featured a flow of excuses for the way they handle their problem-solving. When proper actions are not taken, the condo values will not see a favorable gain.  

Entrepreneurs and Corporate Sales

In the corporate and the entrepreneurial environments, consider issues encountered by clients or among fellow employees.

  • Do you or management side-step the problems? 
  • Or do you take responsibility for getting them fixed?

The fact is, the longer the delays in making better decisions, the costlier the solution. Most notable is that clients will move their business to another supplier.  Companies experience a sinkhole of declining revenue and increasing costs. At year end, the evidence of loss is in the bottom-line.

For more insight read, “Do You Know Why Clients Suddenly Leave?”

The best approach is to ask oneself, “What’s the worst that can happen?”

Should you work with a team, get everyone involved.  In the above situation, the building can gradually deteriorate over time creating a decline in value of the condos.

In the sales arena, the worst that can happen is not only having clientele depart, but also harsh reviews spread virally. Reputation, personal brand and the bottom-line are all at stake with our decision-making processes.

Review, revise and make your process work to everyone’s benefit.


Your Story

You most likely have been involved in situations where you knew laziness affected the decision-making process. No one wanted to put in the effort required for the better solution. Usually, the upfront cost is the issue, but no one takes into account the cost of not implementing the best fix.

Take time to reflect on the incident and answer these questions:

  • How would you have handled the problem?
  • Was money lost in the process?
  • In the future, what actions can you take to ensure a better outcome?

Apply all of these learning experiences to the welfare of your clientele. The first phase is to listen very carefully to what customers have to say.  Get clarity on the underlying implications. Next, ask for clarification on anything you don’t quite understand. Should there be a conflict of ideas, ask “what if” style questions to point the conversation in a better direction.

The worst approach is to inflict one’s decision on another. The better solution to solving problems is to gain everyone’s perspective first. Once questions are asked, and answers are received, it is far easier to get consensus.

The above steps also serve as practice for a friendly negotiation in earning sales. When you have everyone buying into the fix, you become credible and trustworthy. Credibility and trust lead to a returning and referring clientele.

Sales Tips for Problem-Solving
  1. Ask out-loud, ‘what’s the worst that can happen?’
  2. Include all those concerned in the decision-making process.
  3. Gain everyone’s ideas for a possible fix.
  4. When parts of a solution are turned down, get to the ‘why’ this is so.
  5. For the answers you don’t understand, ask for clarification.
  6. In response to answers that don’t seem quite right, ask, ‘what if…?’
  7. Always work toward consensus in fixing issues.
  8. Once the solution is in place, ask for feedback to continue improving.
  9. Practice fixing issues so that you are comfortable with negotiating and leading.
  10. Celebrate Success!
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