posted on February 11, 2010
I stole the following from my dear longtime pal, Hank Trisler. This is a good format to follow for managers who would like to see their sales teams solve more of their own problems. Particularly the minor ones on a daily basis. So salespeople you can use these four questions when you are in a quandry over a transaction, or if you are going to the manager for assistance you can have the answers to these questions in your head or on paper when you go in to talk with your manager. That way time will not be wasted beating around the bush or trying to figure out what exactly is the issue. I used these four questions when I managed a sales com team and I still use Hank's formula while coaching.
1. What is the problem? A prime obstacle to the solving of any problem is a lack of specificity in defining the problem. The answer must fit on the back of a business card. If it's longer than that, the problem is not understood.
2. What caused the problem? I don't mind solving a problem as long as I don't have the same problem again next week, and the week after. Knowing what causes problems helps us avoid recurrences.
3. What are all the possible solutions? Encourage brainstorming. Often the most ridiculous solutions are the nucleus of a workable idea.
4.What in your opinion, is the BEST solution? When this question is answered, you're usually pretty much done with the process. You just say: "Sounds good to me. Go do it."
Put these four questions to work immediately, friends.