Habit 4: Seeking the Win-Win

As I'm continuing reading through the "7 Habits of Highly Successful People," the habit I'm rereading about now is seeking the Win-Win in every relationship. So many people think that everything has to be a winner take all ending, or end in a win-lose outcome. For me to win, someone else has to lose. Although that is true in sports (except in the age of everyone getting a trophy), it is not true in relationships.  Client relationships and even competitor relationships do not have to work that way.

For example, our company competes with a well-known Pest Control company in Gainesville for Lawn Spraying services, and they are one of the biggest in our area. For us to grow and take market-share - it will need to be from them at some point. There are a lot of times when we are providing an estimate for the same client trying to earn their business. Adversarially, that is a win-lose relationship. Either we get the business or they do.

However, if I'm looking for the win-win opportunity with this well-known and unnamed Pest Control Company, I could work to create a referral partnership with a couple of their sales team for services they don't offer. Services such as sod installation, irrigation, maintenance, and landscaping are all opportunities for us to have win-win. They want to keep their client's lawn healthy, and in order to do that it will need proper irrigation, maintenance, and sod if they experienced pest damage. To create that win-win relationship, we can also refer them for termite treatments or pest exclusion services. This a great way to take a potential win-lose relationship and create an opportunity to both have larger success working together.

Early sales training was taught for the salesperson to convince the potential client at all costs to get the sale. The idea was that you must win by getting the sale, and in order to win you must "trick" the other person into losing and buying your product. That's win-lose sales training, and was a disaster. Think used car lots. The alternative is asking great questions and active listening to make sure the salesperson understands the client's precise problem, and then developing an economical and effective solution to those concerns - creates a win-win outcome. The client gets a solution and the salesperson gets a sale. The way the win multiplies happens in the next step as that happy client refers others to the salesperson. Now, we have a win-win-win.  

This week, let's look for where we may naturally he thinking win/lose, and let's look for opportunities to find the mutual win.