Upon hearing about an issue of some sort, most people, myself included, jump into problem solving mode almost immediately. We hear one rendition of the issue from one source and we immediately synthesize an elegant solution and mobilize an impressive set of resources conquer it.
However, more often than not, we are attempting to solve the wrong problem.
Slow Elevator Problem
There is an interesting story of an office building owner who is dealing with an overwhelming number of complaints of slow elevator service. People are waiting so long for the elevator that they are beginning to break lease agreements and move out of the building.
The owner has many options to fix this seemingly slow elevator issue. For example, he could:
Are you actively looking to partner with your customers and add value to them by helping them identify and solve their biggest pain points or are you just trying to sell them another product?
When we become so focused on meeting sales quotas and goals we lose sight of the real reason our businesses exist . . . they exist because we provide something of value to our customers. One of the most important tasks for any business is not to sell their product or service but to work with their potential customers to understand where the customer needs help and how your business can fill that need and provide real value.
I have seen many businesses over the years slip into the trap of myopically focusing on selling products or services. They spend more time coming up with the “perfect” charge rate sheet or the “perfect” product discount sheet then they do working with their clients to understand the challenges that are being faced and how they can assist the client in overcoming these challenges.
Guess what happens to these business . . .