‘There’s an old saying that “one man’s gain must be another man’s loss.” Many people take that old adage for granted as the whole truth. And yet, it is totally false. Why? Because happiness is relative. And what pleases one person is not necessarily going to please the next person. This means that two individuals – with different values – can arrange an exchange between them that will satisfy both of them. Neither has to triumph over the other one. Both can gain.’
by Harry Browne
Negotiators would do well to remember this quote from Harry Browne’s excellent book.
What makes me happy may not make you happy. It is knowledge of the relative nature of happiness that enables us to facilitate negotiations where everybody leaves the table satisfied.
Too often, salespeople try and second-guess their clients. Salespeople who think they ‘know’ what their clients want and present based on an erroneous viewpoint, only to lose a sale.
The fact is we don’t always know what clients want, will accept, and be delighted with, unless we ask plenty of questions and develop, over time, an understanding of what will make those clients happy.
Many salespeople will not invest that time and will not ask enough good questions to enable them to determine what it will take to put this negotiation together.
False assumptions can easily send you down the wrong path. I am not saying that you should not make assumptions. I don’t abide by the saying