The movie X-Men: Days of Future Past tells a classic morality tale that warns against knowing the solution without caring too much about the means to achieve it. And if you’ll pardon the spoilers, you will learn how the actions of a younger Magneto should serve as a warning to like-minded lead generation campaigns.
You’ll find plenty of young Erik Lehnsherrs among today’s marketers and sales. They tend to play aggressively, take big risks, and sometimes disregard their own reputation (as well as other people’s welfare) for the sake of selling/pitching a solution.
So how do you play the Professor X in these situations? Better yet, how do you prevent making Charles own failures to prevent Erik from becoming Magneto?
Problem 1st, Solution 2nd, and Real Answer somewhere in between.
Real-world problem solving isn’t just about finding the fastest or most practical means to a solution. It’s about how you got to that solution. It’s like those mystical, story-centric fantasy quests where a journey to the answer is just as important.
Don’t be paralyzed by the information.
It’s a common problem in an age where big data simply overwhelms inexperienced analysts. When faced shocking data, they’d panic or freeze up.
But the truth is roadblocks are a natural feature of the business world. No success goes without the occasional disruption. That’s why you should learn to brace yourself for it and better yet, have a contingency plan for that as well.
No man is an island.
Problems in business are rarely, if ever, tackled alone. (This is even more so when you’re talking IT solutions or big B2B sales). Consider everything around a prospect: the people, the places, the events and even the feelings influencing them. No real solution is sold without involving everyone, including those who create friction or put office politics in play. A single inside influencer can only do so much without winning over others. Neither your salespeople nor your prospects should take it upon themselves to embrace a solution.
When you think about it, it’s not about whether you’re being impulsive about a solution or think it’s the most ‘efficient.’ It’s all about keeping a bit of humanity in mind no matter how good a solution sounds on paper.