Monday, April 29, 2013

The Art of the Deal

In business, we focus on negotiation constantly.  What can I get for what I have?  If I offer this concession, will the deal close?  What's the least I have to give to get what I want?
You can't give away something without knowing what you're getting, right?

Our initial instinct is to protect what we have and see if we can get more.  More is good;
more customers, more salespeople, more real estate, more power.  Our success often comes at the expense of others.

What if we took a different approach?  What if you base your success on how much you give instead of how much you receive? 

Could you give that customer to a colleague knowing that they would probably be a better fit for each other?
Could you ship that order for free knowing it would help your customer be more profitable - without them asking for it?
Could you mentor salesperson on another team that competes with you?

The business world expects you to want something for the things you give. 

Take a different approach: differentiate yourself or your company by the story of your generosity.  Use your skills as a shining light to accelerate the growth of those around you.  Think long term relationships instead of short term gain.  Be okay with getting taking advantage of by some -- the ones you really want along for the ride will outweigh them.  Have your customers tell others of the great things you did for them because you gave more than expected.  Be indispensable at work because you always help your peers become successful.

The next time you need something, give more than you have to.  You're in it for the long haul, and by creating a culture of giving, you'll get more back than you expect the next time.

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