We believe that, whenever a client tells they have a problem, all we know at that moment is that that is almost certainly not the problem.
This is exemplified by the case study ‘Retailer’. The client came to us with a specific need—to increase sales. She also had a clear view of what the solution was. Although the solution would have been a good one had the problem been correctly identified, as that hadn’t been done, the solution was ineffective.
In this case the suggested solution was presented as the problem, namely that the sales staff needed to acquire better sales skills. The actual problem was the owner did not have a good enough relationship with them—she was effectively demotivating them by her attitude.
The solution was to delegate the administration work to someone more appropriate, so the owner could spend more time with the sales staff. Given that ‘businesses are just people’ and ‘people buy from people’, attending to the relationship between the boss and the staff was always likely to be most useful thing to do.
This story illustrates a further very important point about this business: although the problem appears to be with the team, the solution was to work with the leader (the owner in this case). Once the leader has shifted, the people in the team sort themselves out. As is often the case, no further intervention was needed from us: it was the owner who had to attend to the team.
In the case study, ‘Too busy’, Daisy was clear what the problem was with her team. They were always very busy, yet they didn’t achieve that much. It turned out that what was happening was that Daisy herself was the sort of person who was always very busy, but not achieving as much as she wanted. The team was simply emulating her. The point is that Daisy, the boss, was entirely unaware that this was what was going on. She could not see in herself that which was only too apparent in the team. If you like, the team was acting out what was in her subconscious.
It goes without saying that ‘Whenever a client tells they have a problem, all we know at that moment is that that is almost certainly not the problem’ is a very important principle for all service providers, whether in marketing, IT, the law or any other service.
by Jeremy Marchant . © 2013 Jeremy Marchant Limited . uploaded 17 april 2013 . image: Free images
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