7 Ways to Find The Next Best Play

Yesterday I had a conversation with Tim Sanders, author of the new book, “DEALSTORMING,” and former Chief Solutions Officer at Yahoo!. I’m a basketball enthusiast so we spent some time talking about coach K’s focus on the next best play.

“The next best play is the action that will be taken after the meeting to move the deal to the next level.” Tim Sanders

you win by executing the next best play not by obsessing on winning.png

By “best,” Tim means, “The group has found a potential solution that is head and shoulders above the rest of the options discussed.”

Not winning:

The idea of the next best play comes from coach Mike Krzyzewski – coach K – of the Duke Blue Devils. Coach K focuses his team on the next play – not the past, and not even the bigger picture.

You don’t win by focusing on winning. You win by finding and executing the next best play.

One of the greatest basketball coaches of all time, Coach Wooden said, “I never talked about winning.”

Tim Sanders helps teams find the next best play:

  1. Stop looking for the big idea.
  2. Find the sticking point. Figure out why you’re stuck. Use 5 Whys to find the right problems.
  3. Write a brief. Some aspects include:
    • Problem Statement.
    • Opportunity and Goal Statement.
    • Constraints and Resources.
    • Premeeting Assignment.
  4. Explore assumptions. When someone nominates an idea, ask, “What assumptions are behind that idea?” Don’t pick apart ideas.
  5. Debate assumptions not implementation.
  6. Combine ideas. “What ideas might be combined?” Tim said this can be magic.
  7. Ask, “Is this possible?”

Tim’s book offers a more robust approach than the above seven points to finding the next best play. These rose to the top during our conversation.

What prevents teams from finding the next best play?

How might teams find the next best play?

I don’t often recommend sales books. “DEALSTORMING,” is a leadership – sales book.

Purchase: DEALSTORMING: The Secret Weapon That Can Solve Your Toughest Sales Challenges