We are going backwards

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Orange hat thinking

"We are sticking religiously to the process we developed but its just not working anymore... I feel like we are actually going backwards and achieving less"

Orange Hat series - Sales Director Dilemmas #2

Using my 'orange hat thinking' I'd say there are things that can be done to address this

Most of it is do with binning the old-fashioned thinking and the habits developed that don't serve us today and using things that will work because they genuinely put the customer first

This can be tough as 'old habits die hard' and when things are turbulent it is comforting to hang on to something we know

But this sense of comfort and familiarity can be causing us the issues so we need to address

To keep it simple (and feeding my love of alliteration) lets focus on
- Flip
- Follow
- Focus

Put your attention onto the world of the customer. Talk about them. Talk about their challenges, their issues and what they're bothered about. Not yourself.

Use an approach that identifies those issues, not one that forces solution. Some ‘solution selling’ is not really about the customer at all. It's “I'm gonna get you to a position that I am gonna talk about my stuff as fast I possibly. I wanna get into a demo quick as possible”. That's selfish

We want to focus on the things that actually work. Not the old school tricks, the clever 'closes’, and all that kind of nonsense.

The things which work now are different. There have been shifts.

And people can make the shifts I know, I've done it. I've had to go through this myself.

It's stuff I study, it's what I like understand. I do get a bit geeky about it, but that’s because I want to be giving people the best advice that they can take and use.

To make sure that they can evolve as sales has evolved.

There's been an evolution in sales. We need to get the bits that are still relevant and give them subtle tweaks.

But please don't think that this is about starting from scratch.

It's not.

There'll be things that you're doing, that you understand and that you've learnt, which will be right. Though it might still need just a little bit of a nudge to get fully up to date.

We can easily refine that and we can add to it

Change doesn't always mean taking away

Where a lot of people are surprised by is how big some of the shifts have been in the last few years.

We need to understand these to stay relevant but it's not about 'throwing the baby out with a bath of water'.

There is still good old fashioned stuff that works. We just need to make sure that we are aware of these subtle shifts because if we are not making a change, we are going to be caught doing stuff that isn't wholly relevant for customers.

If they're not getting what they need they will go elsewhere or they'll try and sort stuff out themselves.



Why 'Orange Hat'

The Six Thinking Hats is a method used to amplify creativity by making sure that a broad variety of viewpoints and thinking styles are represented.
It was developed by Dr. Edward de Bono

The six hats are:

βšͺ White: the objective hat, which focuses on facts and logic

πŸ”΄ Red: the intuitive hat, focusing on emotion and instinct

⚫ Black: the cautious hat, used to predict negative outcomes

πŸ’› Yellow: the optimistic hat, used to look for positive outcomes

🍏Green: the creative hat, where ideas are abundant and criticism spare

πŸ”΅ Blue: the hat of control, used for managing the process

I've taken the liberty of addling a new one

πŸ”Ά Orange: the hat of applied sales thinking, used to address real life challenges and drive results today. 


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