The concept that win-win multiplies success in business seems to be talked about more than practiced in my personal experience. I've actually seen other philosophies of business practiced more often in regard to those rendering a service, product, or idea. The reason win-win is always the most profitable to all parties involved is because it naturally multiplies business through referrals and at the same time benefits the customer and the business to the highest level.
Three Approaches to Business Transactions
There are three basic approaches to business transactions:
- Win-Lose- This approach to transactions is defined as the business winning and the customer losing. The attitude is to protect the profitability of the business at any cost. This approach may work in the moment. But in the long run, when customers pick up on this attitude and resulting approach, they will move on if they can.
- Lose-Lose- This is the philosophy that focuses on what each party needs to give up or lose in order for the transaction or, in some cases, a negotiation to be fair.
- Win-Win- Those businesses who practice this seek to be the best servant to their customers while maintaining responsibility for their own businesses.
Where Did We Learn Our Approach in Business?
The Win-Lose approach doesn't take a lot of thought and effort to practice. That's because it is based on the survival instinct which is one of the most primal responses of all living creatures. This approach is in contrast to Win-Win which takes some thought and creativity to be the best servant possible without sacrificing responsibility for your own business.
Lose-Lose is an angle of doing business that assumes there is no profitable solution for each party, so all we can do is minimize our loses. If this is the solution or situation for most business transactions, then you may want to question your assumptions and the profitability of your business. Sometimes we assume the worst based on past negative experiences.
Win-win takes a continual effort to evaluate your business and it's practices from a proactive approach. To practice a win-win approach to business you must either learn it through someone else's modeling and/or your consistent practice.
The Tension of Interests
Anyone who has operated their own business or managed someone else's has experienced this in one degree or another. A profitable business will always seek to provide the best possible solution to each individual situation, but there is rarely a "perfect scenerio" because we live in an imperfect world. Here is where some would apply the "lose-lose" philosophy meaning the minimizing of each party's loses as a compromise to uphold the bigger picture of a continuing profitable business relationship.
A Short Comment on Competition and Choice
I've recently had a couple of first-hand experiences with what a lack of competition can do for the quality of service in a particular industry. One of these experiences resulted in me taking my business elsewhere after not feeling like my concerns were addressed. Without other choices, any particular business will have no internalized motivation other than their own character to keep providing the best product, service, or idea for the consumer.
To Sum It All Up
There are three basic approaches to business transactions: win-lose, lose-lose, win-win. Win-lose is based on survival instinct, lose-lose is based on the assumption that each party needs to give up something in order to maintain a mutually beneficial relationship, and win-win is based on the approach that a business can be the best servant of the customer while being responsible for their own business. Without competition and choice, businesses will not have any internalized motivation to provide the best product, service, or idea other than their own personal character.
What is the consistent core philosophy behind your business: win-win, win-lose, or lose-lose? What is your plan to increase your win-win approach to business so that win-win multiplies success in your business?