What would be the best option to handle a potential sensitive customer situation: using Option Solving?

A couple of days ago this writer was chatting with a senior salesperson who was describing a rather sensitive customer situation. The customer wanted to buy from her owing to their various contacts over the years, but the potential purchaser’s company had existing supplier relationships which would need to be surmounted. The two of them worked out a potential scenario for working together, although they would need to figure out the best way to orchestrate it.

This writer introduced option solving as a potential means of figuring out an optimum approach. The senior seller quickly set-about putting together the following question: “What is my best option to handle a sensitive potential customer situation; considering 1) upset prospect’s boss 12 years ago, 2) want to demonstrate fresh, highly valuable approach, 3) is a large international conglomerate with own people development tools, and 4) have a fairly solid relationship with current prospect?”  You can see from these four primary considerations that they provide perspective to the question. Even though there were others, she kept it to the most important ones so as not to overly complicate her decision task.

Now she was challenged to create two yin and yang “bookends,” which would serve as her extreme possibilities. Such bookends would then help focus her intuitive faculties toward her most realistic options. Bookends like these are vital for preventing people’s fertile intuitive minds from wandering and losing focus.

Yin and yang bookends that surfaced were: “Walk away from it” and “Approach prospect’s boss directly,” both of which seemed the least likely possibilities: so they would challenge her to think through more realistic ones – see our Latest Worked Example.

From here she had to develop at least five realistic options, so as to stretch his range of possibilities. You will see where she, in fact, produced five realistic options but decided to leave it open to discuss with her boss before she turned to emotional distancing. Feel free to review her potential six in our Latest Example, one of which was: “Option-A: Request fresh presentation to prospect’s boss.”

With her “pictogram” potentially ready to get her boss’s input on a sixth option, she would pursue some emotional distancing once she has done that. Emotional distancing would allow her intuitive mind to sub-consciously review this range of options against so many of her similar life experiences and choices; thereby seeking an optimal solution. What option would you choose?

If you have an example of your own, please share it with this blogger, through the COMMENTS area.  Thanks Option Solving. (NOTE: Next posting will be in two week’s time: “What is my best option to gain CEO-Executive commitment toward IT integration?” Let’s have your COMMENTS or go to peter@ileadershipsolutions.com to connect with the blogger. Also consider buying the book: “Smart Decisions: Goodbye Problems, Hello Options” through amazon.com)


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