Handling the marketing role myself: by means of Option Solving!

During recent times, a new brokerage client was sharing his frustrations of having insufficient attention from the firm’s marketing team. This was causing him to lose client business. The two key marketing people were supposed to shop his clients’ insurance requests around among the Carriers to find the most favorable option. Although they were doing some of this, it was not quick enough relative to competitors which meant him losing out. Since he was new to the firm, he was not wanting to rock the boat unnecessarily.

As he wasn’t familiar with option solving, I started probing him about his options and, when that was proving to be an immediate struggle, I then got him to focus on the right question. After some discussion, this ended up being: “What is my best option for handling my Carrier marketing dilemma, considering current marketing team self-absorbed and showing limited urgency, am still new to the firm, the principals are nice people, I’m losing business, and there could be a good future for me at this place?” You will notice the five key considerations. I did try to get him just to use 50% of them, to simplify the question, but he felt he wanted to include them all.

Now that the question was formulated, I challenged him to come-up with two Ying and the Yang “bookends.” You will notice they are two extreme options which would provide a framework for his most plausible options, as well as help stimulate the appropriate option creativity. You will see in our latest example, his two were: “Walk away from the firm,” and at the other end, “Sit tight, work within the current system, and hope for the best.” We also indicated, below the line in each case, why these would be least workable.

With these in place, he was poised to produce his most plausible options. It was a bit of a stretch, but I challenged him to come up with five options. You will notice that one of the five was: “Promote a current Account Executive into the marketing role. Work on that relationship once in place.”…option D. You can review his other options in our Latest Example.

Because we had another joint meeting to attend at this point, I asked him to take a photocopy of the option solving picture and then sleep on it overnight as a form of emotional distancing. I would follow-up in a day or two to find out his intuitive choice. When I did so, a couple of days later, he had made his choice: although was more interested in discussing his best mode for doing it rather than making an immediate action plan.
We therefore proceeded with a peeling the onion exercise over the phone. He was creating the picture and content, while I just acted as a sounding board. Please refer to the Latest Example to view the overall picture of a potential solution and make your own best choice, if you were in his shoes. If you have an example of your own, please share it with this blogger, through the COMMENTS area.
Thanks Option Solving. (NOTE: Next posting in 2 weeks: “Using Option Solving to decide on ‘Peeling the onion: Handling the marketing role myself?’” You’re your COMMENTS or go to peter @ileadershipsolutions.com to connect with the blogger.)

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