Go Problem Finding

So, What’s the Problem?

Me, too my  clients 1000 times a day

Like most sales leaders and sales people you have put 2012 behind you and are aggressively moving forward. And like everyone else, most of us are looking to improve on 2012. Improvement, growth, more, better, faster are part of our culture. We never seem satisfied with what we have or where are.  This is especially true in sales, whether we like it or not.

Heading into 2013 many of us have new goals and objectives we’ve set or that have been given to us. We need to grow revenue, get new clients, improve the channel business, roll out new products, improve lead generation, grow our social presence, etc. The list of improvements we want to make is endless and unfortunately, in most cases, we won’t accomplish much of what we set out to do. We won’t fail because of lack of commitment, although that does play a role. We won’t fail because we are trying to do too much, although that happens too. We’re gonna fail because we don’t know what problems we’re trying to fix.

When we want to improve, grow, or accelerate, there is always something that is currently keeping us from getting there. There is always something keeping us from improving, growing, or accelerating. That thing that is keeping us from improving, growing or accelerating is “the problem” and until we know what “the problem” is, nothing is going to change.

Here’s the rub, few of  us know or want to know what problem(s) we are solving. We set out our lofty goals and charge ahead, without any real understanding of what problem(s) we are trying to solve and what it is that is/has kept us from improving, growing, and accelerating in the first place. We tend to avoid problems. We like to look at everything as an opportunity. It doesn’t feel good to go problem finding. Problem finding means we have to get our hands dirty. It means we have to confront realities, realities we may not want to confront. Problem finding is uncomfortable. We see it as negative. Yet, if we don’t go problem finding, we can’t change what is keeping us from improving, growing or accelerating.

Believing problem finding is negative is wrong. Being afraid to go problem finding is defeating.

Finding the problem IS finding the opportunity. Once we find the problem we can build the plan to improve, grow and accelerate. It is through the problems we create the approaches and plans to improve, grow, and accelerate. The problems point the way for innovation, creativity and unique ideas. It’s the problems that point the way!

When we don’t understand the problems we flail about. When we don’t know what we are trying to solve, we solve the wrong things.  Goals are great, but if you don’t know what the problems are, you’re finished!

Take a look at your 2013 goals. What are you trying to do? What kept you from doing that in 2012? What problems are you trying to solve?