Solve the Problem at Hand

Her Corner

Frederique Irwin

August 15, 2018

One of my favorite expressions is: “That’s not today’s problem. We’ll address that one later.”

I have zero patience for people who want to talk about what might happen if, for example, a big new project comes through and they don’t have the resources to staff it. That kind of thinking is not a good use of either your energy or your brain.

What I have learned to pay attention to is the person who comes to us for coaching in the hopes of solving something, when in fact that “something” has nothing to do with what needs to be solved immediately. I now know—and I train our coaches to look for—the problem that needs solving versus the one that wants solving.

Let me explain.

For better or worse, we all think that “if I just do this… something [fill in the blank] will happen.” Generally, effortlessly.

I KNOW, I KNOW. WE SHOULD KNOW BETTER, BUT WE CAN’T HELP OURSELVES.

But that’s never the case, so I can pretty much guarantee that when someone comes to me as says “I need to build a solid business development process to close business more quickly,” that is code for “something else is broken.”

I absolutely believe in—and we teach at length—how to build a business development process. But like everything else, the processes take time: to develop, to implement, to track, to tweak, to perfect.

More often than not, the real problem for this business owner is quite simply sales. Not enough sales. Not enough revenue. Which leads her to believe that this lack of sales must be because her business development process is broken. And it may be.

But you know what you need to do when you don’t have enough sales? You need to sell. Right now. Immediately. YOU need to sell your company, your services, and your offerings.

You don’t need to sit back and redesign a landing page, carefully select a CRM, or launch a new marketing campaign.

The problem at hand is sales. Not business development. Yes, business development needs to be solved. But it can be solved tomorrow. Today, the problem to be solved is sales.