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Avoiding the Worst Sales Ops Advice

As you might imagine, part of my research process here at the Playbook involves consuming a lot articles, whitepapers, case studies, lectures, podcasts, etc. I’ve always been an information junkie, so I guess I’m one of those rare and lucky people whose “job” is something they’d probably be doing anyway.

Over the years, I’ve noticed a concerning dichotomy among the punditry…

Some experts will almost always couch their advice and recommendations in conditional terms. They’ll use phrases like, “in some situations” and “under certain circumstances.” And if you were asking these folks questions directly, you would no doubt hear the phrase “it depends” at least once.

In sharp contrast, other pundits will offer up their prescriptions in a much more commanding fashion. There’s very little wiggle room or ambiguity in their advice and proclamations. They don’t couch, caveat, or condition their recommended actions at any way. In essence, these pundits are simply saying, “Just do this!”

Why do these differences concern me? Because the most appealing type of advice is often the worst type of advice.

When delivered with confidence…and maybe even a British accent…the “just do this” type of advice is extremely appealing. It’s simple. It’s direct. There’s nothing more to think about, figure out, or understand. Viola! Here’s the answer! Just do this this, that, and the other thing and your problems will be solved!

Compared to that, the first type of advice often seems sort of wishy-washy. It depends? Under certain circumstances? In some situations? Relative to the “just do this” pundits, these experts almost appear to be hedging, as though they lack confidence in their advice and recommendations.

But here’s the thing…

By virtue of their experience, true experts understand that no two business situations are identical. They know that the business and organizational dynamics can be so varied that a solution that works like gangbusters for one company might cause major damage to another company, even in the same industry.

So these experts resist the temptation to throw out canned prescriptions and blanket proclamations. To them, issuing a prescription or one-size-fits-all solution without first conducting a proper diagnosis is akin to malpractice. And in my humble opinion, they’re absolutely right.

That’s why the team here at the SellingBrew Playbook strives to present multiple solutions that have worked for others in various situations. That’s why we work hard to explain the principles and concepts behind the best practices we expose and highlight. And that’s why we’re constantly beating the drum about diagnosing and addressing true root causes instead of jumping to conclusions, playing whack-a-mole with symptoms, or just copying random tactics.

Of course, I recognize that this approach doesn’t appeal to everyone. Some people just prefer the simplicity of one-size-fits-all solutions…even if they’re risky and inappropriate. Others just want to be handed a to-do list or a template to fill out…even if the real solution is much more involved. And frankly, some people just don’t like having to think…at all. I get that. I really do.

But while delivering “pat” answers to complex issues would be a whole lot easier and might appeal to more people, we’re committed to equipping our subscribers with the information and tools they need to devise the right solution for their unique situation. And any situation they might encounter in the future.

From our perspective, anything else would be malpractice…and that kind of insurance is really expensive! 🙂

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