7 Habits – Part IV

Habit 4: Think Win-Win

How often can you expect to strike a mother lode? That about a thousand times better chance than having a clean win-win situation in business. However, when you are lucky or, speaking in terms of real world, if you are proactive enough and your best laid plans didn’t go awry, then win-win is so rewarding that you’ll easily forget how hard you tried and failed previous 187 attempts at it. Thinking win-win requires a lot of thinking, experience and, of course, a little bit of luck. Turning a situation into a win-win is much simpler then it may look. However, it also demands that win-win attitude for which you need all the previous experience. The perfect example for me was set when I read the story in one of the online forums recently. Customer purchased something worth $50 from a merchant, let’s call it a widget. The sum is average for such widgets, so there is nothing that stands out in this sale. It was supposed to be square, but upon receiving the widget it turned out to be round. Customer calls the merchant and asks for a replacement. The regular process would require a customer obtaining a Return Merchant Authorization number, shipping the widget back to merchant and then waiting for replacement to arrive. Customer was prepared to go through all these loops, as it’s a normal procedure at 99.9% of merchants. What turned this regular business situation into a win-win case? Merchant said “Keep it”. No forms, no numbers, no trips to post office. The proud owner of two widgets for the price of one boasted about it on the forums for several days. The result was ten more confirmed clients to that same merchant and revenue that must have paid for that widget tenfold. All that done with the power of just two words. I call it brilliant.

Upd. This post by Seth Godin is a reflection on a same exact matter.