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Are You Solving the Problem or Treating the Symptom?

diagnosis Picture yourself sitting in your doctor’s office. You feel terrible – so terrible that you finally went to get your doctor’s prognosis. Your doctor walks in, takes one look at you and tells you what’s wrong.

No questioning. No prodding. No poking. No cold stethoscope.

How much confidence would you have with your doctor’s diagnosis?

None at all, right?

Yet time and time again, we see this in the business world. Prescriptions are offered without a thorough diagnosis. So many times, we treat the symptoms of the problem, rather than solving the problem itself because we don’t take the time to discover the real problem.

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Ad hoc diagnosis cost this salesperson a client

We have a friend who sells television commercials. Recently, he told us about one of his new clients. This client had been running radio ads for his high-end grills. They didn’t work. So the radio salesperson put him on another station. That still didn’t work. So the guy switched to television.

Our friend produced a great ad showing people having fun around his client’s grills. Sales are booming! His client is thrilled!

But the radio salesperson missed an opportunity. By thoroughly diagnosing the situation, it could have been determined that the problem wasn’t the station, it was the message. Couldn’t you use sound effects to create a picture in the listeners mind? If you hear the sound of food on the grill, can you put yourself there? If you hear people having fun, do you want to join in?

The radio sales representative could have kept the client by thoroughly diagnosing the problem to come up with the right solution, instead of just trying something else (i.e. changing stations).

5 steps to diagnose the problem

With everybody looking for cost-effective solutions today, diagnostics are increasingly important. If you don’t get to the root of the problem when you prescribe a solution, you’ll damage relationships. So follow this simple five-step process to thoroughly diagnose the problem:

1. Ask probing questions

2. Listen
This is really part of the first step, but it’s so important that we felt it should be listed separately. Listen actively and attentively.

3. Clarify
Keep asking follow-up questions and making clarifying statements until you fully understand the issue. If your client offers a vague answer to your question, ask a question that digs deeper. Or repeat your client’s answer back in your own words. Now you’re ready to …

4. Define the problem

5. Offer the prescription
Now, and only now, are you ready to offer your solution to the underlying problem.

If you care about your clients, you will seek to build the relationship even if it’s not in your best interest today. Without question, it is in your best interest long-term.
 

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Next time, we’ll talk about tapping into your creativity this Halloween to have some bigg fun. Until then, here’s to your bigg success!

 

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Direct link to The Bigg Success Show audio file:
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Beyond Networking

Today on The Bigg Success Show, we welcomed Melissa Giovagnoli. Melissa is an author, speaker, coach and entrepreneur. Of her 11 books, four have been on the best seller’s list and one was featured on The Oprah Winfrey Show. She is one of the world’s leading experts on networking and has appeared on The Today Show, CNN, CNBC, and Fox. She was recently named the “best networker in Chicago” by Crain’s.


Networking vs. Networlding

We asked Melissa for her best networking tip. She says not to think of it as networking, but think of it as networlding, which is the title of one of her books. Networlding expands opportunities rather than limiting them.

As a networker, you might set a goal of meeting two people. If you’re a networlder, you would set a goal of meeting two people who you can form a long-term relationship with and build opportunities for you, for them, and for the greater good.

The “overstuffed Rolodex syndrome”

Many people confuse activity with accomplishment. You leverage your network by thinking about who would be good connections for you. Start with people who have complementary values. With the online world, you can have quality and quantity by being specific about what you ask for to create a vibrant exchange.

7 levels of support

Networking isn’t about taking. It’s also not about just giving. You can support people:  

  • Emotionally
  • By providing information
  • By providing knowledge (information plus experiences)
  • By promoting them
  • Through wisdom sharing (the 20 percent that will yield 80 percent)
  • By creating transformational opportunities
  • Community (creating the greatest good for the greatest number)

Links to Melissa’s sites

networlding2.org
This is Melissa’s most interactive community. The goal is for members to support each other in achieving their respective goals. You can create your own profile and build your own private circle around your special interest.

Networlding E-Learning
Here you’ll get six FREE lessons on networking for business and sales or networking for jobs.

Melissa will also help you with writing a book. If you’re really serious about it, contact her.

 

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Moving On to Move Up

By Bigg Success Staff
06-13-08

Life Changes

At some point in your career, you may decide that you’ve reached a plateau with your employer. You realize that you can’t advance the way you’d like without a change.

You have to move on in order to move up.

Making a decision like this is (or should be) a logical process, but actually acting upon it can be very emotional. Especially when you’re leaving people with whom you’ve had a long-term relationship.

One of those people may be your boss. That boss who has been more than just a boss. There could be many words to describe the role he or she has played in your career.

Mentor. Cheerleader. Coach. Supporter. Trainer. Advisor.

Your boss may have become almost a surrogate father or mother to you. Your relationship has gone past the professional; you have become friends.

How do you tell this person about your decision? 

Be upfront and honest

If you truly value your boss, he or she deserves to know why you’re leaving. Let them know that you feel it’s time to move on. Tell them what you plan to do and what your timetable is.

Be appreciative
Thank them for what they’ve taught you. Let them know how glad you are that you got to work with them. Offer to help train someone to take your place. Let them know that they can contact you should a question arise once you leave.

Fulfill your obligations

Honor the commitments you made as part of your employment agreement. For example, if you signed a non-compete agreement, don’t compete with your former employer during the agreed-upon time frame. It’s that simple.

Keep the door open

If you handle it right, your former employer may be a tremendous resource in your new career. Just because you leave the firm doesn’t mean the relationship has to end altogether. Let your boss know that you would like to stay in touch.

Be prepared to go
If you’ve done all of the above, you’ve handled your separation in the most professional manner. That doesn’t mean your boss will do the same. Be prepared to leave the moment you tell your boss your plans.

Different companies and different people have their own ideas on how to handle a departing employee. Even if you do it all the right way, they may still proceed aggressively.

That’s okay, though, because you can look at yourself in the mirror knowing that you did it in style. You’ve moved on to move up!

Hear today's lesson and laugh on The Bigg Success Show. 

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Finding The “Good” In Good-Bye

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A New Leadership Style Emerges

By Bigg Success Staff
06-09-08

Leadership Skills

leaders

If we’ve learned anything from the explosion of social media, it’s that people want to connect with other people. They want to be a part of something. They want to contribute. They want to build relationships with like-minded colleagues.

It calls for testing old leadership styles. Leaders still need the same skills they had, but they need to apply those skills in a different way.

At the risk of over-generalizing, men tend to charge in and demand the most (e.g. the cheapest price from their vendors, the most output from their subordinates).

If you’re doing a one-time deal, that may be fine. But if you seek a long-term relationship, men might learn something from women.

Women tend to collaborate. To seek a consensus. They want win – win.

This may be less fruitful in the short run, but in the long term, it often pays bigg dividends.

People don’t do business with people who have burned them. Fool me once, shame on you … fool me twice, shame on me.

So creating an environment around collaboration, where everyone feels like they’re part of the team is productive. Building an organization that allows everyone to win is good business.

And “everyone” means employees, customers, vendors, and more!

It’s a very inclusive organization seeking to create the best opportunities for all the parties involved.

As more and more women obtain leadership positions, this style will become more prevalent. It behooves all of us, man or woman, to get on board the collaboration train!

Hear today's lesson and laugh on The Bigg Success Show. 

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