Confusion About Win/Win

If you are in sales or service, you have been exposed to the concept of WIN/WIN outcomes. Instead of looking at relationships with customers as a contest with only one “winner”, we are being told to look for opportunities for both parties to WIN. This is, of course, in direct conflict to most of our programming, sports and otherwise, which has told us there can only be one WINNER.

My intent is not to create further confusion by introducing the concept of WIN/WIN/WIN but I do believe that without this process in place, the entire relationship with clients will remain frustrating and not nearly as productive as possible.

Most managers will say the first person to win must always be the customer. Who else has to win? Well, the salesperson or service provider must also experience some win during the exchange or he/she will not continue in the business for very long. The third entity which must win is the organization. It is precisely this “order” that dictates the customer must win first that has led to declining service standards and lower sales results. Nobody wants to be in servitude!

The first person who must WIN is the salesperson. The customer WINS second. Of course, we want these two events to happen as close together as possible. The Organization WINS third.

  1. If the salesperson WINS and the client WINS, the organization WINS.
  1. If the customer believes you WON and they LOST, the organization automatically LOSES because the unhappy customer will not come back and will tell many other people how bad the experience was in dealing with you.
  1. If you do not feel good about what you are doing and how you are doing it or you believe you have LOST to make the customer WIN, you will take out those feelings on your clients, your co-workers and ultimately take them home. The organization LOSES in this case because they have a group of disgruntled employees.

The WIN/WIN/WIN process works!! Just don’t forget in which order it must occur.

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