By Caryn Kopp, an EO New Jersey member and the Chief Door Opener of Kopp Consulting, LLC
Welcome to 2014! I wish you all a happy, healthy and prosperous new year!
For many, the beginning of the year can be a time to reflect on decisions made over the last 12 months. What worked, what didn’t? What to continue doing to meet your new year’s goals and what to stop doing? As you may be embarking on this kind of reflection as well, I thought it would be helpful to lend a piece of advice that has kept many on the right track.
Sound obvious? Maybe it is, yet too often busy executives do not have (or make) the necessary time to diagnose and pinpoint the exact problem they’re facing. Not knowing the exact problem, or worse, not knowing that you don’t know the exact problem can lead to incorrect conclusions. Fixing the wrong problem is time consuming, expensive and can be the direct cause of many missed opportunities.
One business owner recently told me he planned to fire the salesperson who had been working at his company for 2 years. The reason? Not enough closed deals. When I asked why more deals weren’t closing he said he didn’t know. Rather than watching him face the negative financial impact of potentially solving the wrong problem, I showed him the diagnostic process we use with our clients to pinpoint the exact sales problem causing an outcome. What we uncovered were two areas in his sales process that were causing deals to stall.