May 15, 2012

Which Battles Do You Want To Fight?

By Paul Bieber

Your choice–every battle that comes along or just that ones that mean something to your business and to you.  I know many glass shop owners who turned every transaction into a battle… even if only for one piece of tempered glass.  They could never compromise.  They had to win every single time.  One day, one these guys called in for a quote…I gave him a ridiculously low quote, just as a game.  He didn’t even listen, he just said he needed the piece for ten cents a foot cheaper.  I gasped, telling him I just realized I made a mistake, and his real price was higher.  He then asked for ten cents off the higher price, which I gave him and took the order.  If he had taken the time to listen, he would have been better off! 

Think about how your business is run.  Do you have to win every single time?  Well, yes, you are a profit-making business, and losses don’t do any good.  But it is how you win.  Negotiation is defined, at least by me, as an understanding where both parties feel good about the transaction.  In today’s vernacular, “A Win-Win”.  Think about your blood pressure, look at your hair turning grey, feel that acid in your stomach, and say to yourself it is easier to make one dollar, rather than a dollar and dime.  If you make that extra dime each time, your going to have a heart attack anyway and you won’t get a chance to spend the dime!

Not every transaction should be a battle.  Pick these wisely, based on your business and personal needs.  If you are selling your company, that is a battle worth fighting.  If you are signing a new lease for your building, fight hard.  But, on the day-to-day stuff, (isn’t ‘stuff’ a great word when you don’t know what to say?) win gracefully and with moderation and you and your employees will enjoy work, which in itself, will lead you to greater profits.