The Win Win


My father was a great soft sell. I would watch in wonder how he would negotiate with a car salesman to get the best price. This was long before the days of leasing and that car had to last you for years. It was a pretty big deal to choose the car, but the bigger deal for me was hearing my father negotiate. ¬†He didn’t know I was listening as he spoke in the improbable combination of steadfast patience while in relentless pursuit of his best price. Who was he starting up with? I mean car salesmen are known through history to be the ones to sell YOU! Yet, somehow my dad recognized that to come out on top he needed to make this guy feel great. And so the conversation became a series of giving in, holding out, giving up and, yes, finally, driving away happy.

When the deal closed, my dad let the owner of the dealership know that the salesman was the most terrific representative Ford Motors could ask for. He left the guy beaming with delight as we drove off. That was the first time I understood that for a deal to be done, for a sale to be closed, it needs to be good for both sides.

Think about shifting the idea from “selling” or “pitching” to providing value or entering a partnership that benefits everyone.

Imagine the “win” from the other person’s point of view, remember to start with your audience.

In business dealings, you haven’t “won” if you’ve left the other person feeling like a loser.


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