As Stephen Covey says, creating a win-win business is the better way. It is collaborating with another for mutual benefit. Collaboration is the process of two or more people or organizations working together to complete a task or achieve a goal. Collaboration is also of massive benefit to the end client. We have to learn not to be all things to all people, and do what is in the clients best interests. 

What got me into this mindset? Well, back in about 1990 when I had first started networking, I remember passing a lead to someone who got an order for a £20,000 conservatory – a lot of money now but even more 30 years ago. I was really pleased I was able to help link the client to my networking contact. I didn’t do it for any financial reward. That is just what we did. The following week when we met he brought me a bottle of wine. It might have been better if he had done nothing as I still remember this to this day and back then I thought, “Wow, I give you a £20,000 conservatory order and you give me a £3 bottle of wine”. Back then it was called givers gain. If I give business to you, you will give it back to me. Well thats all pretty twee, but in reality it doesnt really work as some people are better at passing referrals than others. I thought 30 years ago that if its a commercial transaction, it has to be win-win, or there is no longevity in it. I ran my business with exactly the same ethos right up to the day I sold it, and I still like to create win- win situations today, and I teach it to others as well.

Collaboration is a form of win-win. 2 people or businesses working together and they may share the same sector, but doing what is the right thing for the client is what counts. By us all working in a collaborative mindset it helps us all – “A rising tide raises all ships”. Thats exactly what we need to create and when we are going through tough times we can all help each other as we are thinking that way.

We also have to understand we cannot be all things to all people. If one of the services you offer can help a client you are working with, but you know someone who is more experienced in that other service, recommend your other business contact to your client saying that you can help them with this but you know someone more experienced that can probably add better value. Dont think of lining your own pocket above doing what is the right thing to do for the client. Working in this way and with other business owners with the same mindset will ensure business comes back the other way.

During the 30 plus years of running my Advertising Agency, I had a number of business contacts who regularly passed me leads because I would pay them a commission for this lead and I would pay it each and every time I did business with that client as without the input of my business contact, I would not have got the business in the first place, so I ensured long term win-win situations. To me it is the only way to run a business – put clients and business referrers first. I benefitted anyway, so whats the problem? 

If you run a business in the right way, the better way, you will always win long term. As Stephen Covey says, go with the third alternative.

For help and support to help you run a better business, give me a call. You may not need my services, but you may need the services of one of my contacts – 07798 632173

This article was first published on LinkedIn by Richard Knight on 11/10/2020