The communication model we use contains four logical steps. Each step must occur in order for the communication to run smoothly:
Step 1: Rapport
Step 2: Discovery
Step 3: Solution
Step 4: Close
This model encompasses a philosophy for communication, combined with tools and techniques, that when followed, provides a solid framework for communication and offers a consistent path to follow that will produce outstanding quality of communication.
This blog focuses on Step 3: Solution
WIFM….…or What’s In It For Me?
Solution is the part of the communication where you discuss what has been decided as the appropriate course of action in terms of WIFM.
Generally you can get anybody to do anything if you can do a good enough job of convincing them of WIFM.
Solution is all about discussing the outcome in a way that helps the other person to see the benefit to them personally of keeping the commitment or performing the agreed action.
Sometimes it may seem to you that you are just stating the obvious. Remember that you may be dealing with people who don’t see the obvious the way you do. Unless you clearly state the obvious, the person you are dealing with might not even realise that there’s something in it for them.
Brad, do you enjoy being counseled in my office and having file notes completed about you when you swear in front of customers, knowing that this behaviour could lead to termination?
(Note the use of a closed question)
Good, I’m glad to hear it. If you choose to use professional language in this environment, you will never have to have this conversation with me again. Does that sound good to you?
Have a look at the two examples below and see which one you would respond best to.
Karen, I need you to work for three extra hours on Tuesday because Linda has an appointment. I will trade it for some time off later on when we can spare you.
Karen, if you work three extra hours for me on Tuesday to cover Linda’s absence, I would like to offer for you to leave three hours earlier on Friday so you can spend some time riding your horse. Would this be something you would like to consider?
While you may have thought both examples could have achieve the same result, the second one is more likely to motivate Karen to say yes right away as it is specific and related to something she loves to do in her spare time.
|– Solution is a discussion about the choice the
customer has already made during the Discovery
– Solution is about adding value to the customer
– Personalisation of the communication, in tasks,
processes, procedures and products
– Solution statements often discuss actions to be taken
by the customer and/or the organisation
– Confirmation of all details
|– Use of personalised benefits
– Connection of action to benefit statements
– Use of names
– Use of “For You” language
– Use of agreement questions – to clarify actions taken
and solutions given