3 Steps to Practical, Actionable, Problem Solving

Bringing people together to solve problems is what the best salespeople do well.

Selling is about solving problems in ways that convince people to engage effort and resources they might not have done without your influence—including buying your product or service. Here are the three steps to practical, actionable, problem-solving.


1. Document WHAT you see, hear, and/or know, that is causing sub-optimal results for your customers.

This is the easiest step in problem-solving since there is never a shortage of opinions when things are going wrong. Sometimes the opinions are stated in the form of blame which is wasted energy. The benefit is when opinions focus on WHAT needs to be addressed.

2.  Discuss and document WHY the suboptimal results are happening.

WHY is the most important part of problem-solving. Until there is agreement on WHY the problem exists there can be no solution that results in collaborative, forward movement. Without clarity on WHY, you can’t recruit the many stakeholders it takes to get lasting fixes in place. With clarity on WHY, you are ready to address the cause of the problem rather than putting a band-aid on symptoms.

3.  Determine WHAT actions you can take, that are within your control, that address WHY the problem exists.

Real, lasting, solutions address WHY the problem exists. When you go to the doctor with a sore throat he or she doesn’t send you home with a lozenge. The doctor will take your temperature, look at your throat, listen to your chest, and ask about other symptoms. They’ll assess what they see, hear, and/or know, that is causing you discomfort. From the symptoms, they might be able to make a diagnosis or they could do blood tests. In the end, they’ll come away with WHY you don’t feel well and they’ll treat that in ways that are within their control. It’s the same in business. When you take the time to assess and address WHY, you create lasting solutions. When you stay focused on what you can control it eliminates theories that aren’t actionable.

I call this WHAT-WHY-WHAT-GO or WWW.Go. Figure out WHAT you’ll do to address WHY you have problems, and GO do it.

Does WWW.GO work for you? Let me know what does.

©2017 Rick Wong, The Five Abilities® LLC


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