Do you remember the last time you were not quite sure what to do next, when you were confronted with a decision problem?
You were not indecisive because you were not prepared – no, it was the decision trouble with “which step next (?) is the best to do”- trouble you were facing …..
The following scenario was on your weekly schedule on that particular Monday morning:
- You had to prepare an “all day meeting” in London for Wednesday, which was a day trip
- On Tuesday you planned to visit 2 new customers downtown which was ideal for the London meeting, because you received more info for the up-coming meeting
- On Thursday you planned to visit another new customer (N° 3) who wasn´t relevant for the Wednesday meeting in London, so you still had time to prepare for the meet-up
- On Friday morning you were invited for a 3 hr. summary-call about the Wednesday meeting in London
Now Customer N° 3 did call you that Monday moning and asked to post-pone the meeting from Thursday with you, for either Tuesday afternoon or Friday morning this week. TIME TRAP!!
This is the ad hoc decision trouble the new customer presented to you:
- accept a 3 hr. trip to meet the customer on Tuesday, plus: get ready today to prepare the meeting and cut short the time for the London trip
- Offer him a “I am sorry, but I am busy on Friday morning” – excuse which might not look good for you
- come up with a quick solution which fits both of your schedules
Instead of deciding for 1 out of 3 potential solutions only, right here you should misapply your decision ability! Don´t cut short the process, instead: offer the alternatives as a step-by-step process to your customer!
1. RULE: make sure you keep your plan up and ready for this week.
2. Find a gap to keep the weekly schedule running and not blocking you
3. Make the offer!
This is how your answer and solution path can look like:
Find an appointed time early next week, best: right on Monday! Make him be the N° 1 of the next week. Ask if this is possible and then sell this new date first. Second, you talk about your London-trip on Wednesday and the summary call on Friday. This way you delete the Friday morning for him and include the hint that you have a big meeting on Wednesday which indicates you´re pretty busy on Tuesday afternoon. This way, you needn´t give an ad hoc “I am afraid Tuesday is not possible” – answer for the next day in the afternoon, but let the customer find out himself.
By quickly gathering 3 solutions and going backwards from the ideal date for you next week, you slowly push away the unattractive Tuesday afternoon, by leading the customer slowly into the opposite direction. If it means bad luck to you because he´s not available on Monday morning next week and doesn´t offer another date, then you´re left with one solution only – you have to make the 3 hr. trip on Tuesday afternoon and work late that Monday.
This is strategy!
Strategy is trying a new path with more than 2 solutions – different from what was offered to you! Strategy is trying to lead without harming an appointment or a relationship. If someone forces an ad hoc decision on you, for whatever reason, and you can´t serve it – misapply your decision ability for a strategic path and go ahead, offer it.
BE A DECISION MAKER. BECOME OUTSTANDING.
rita jaskolla – Leadership Architect –