One of my least favorite business phrases is: “What’s in it for me?” Business… real business… is about establishing and maintaining relationships, not just unilaterally deriving a benefit from another party. Too many business owners get too focused on a winner take all mentality that they lose sight of the power of collaboration with business and the benefits that come with it. When business owners change the question to: “What’s in it for us?”, business becomes more meaningful. Here are three reasons why “us” is a more powerful form of business:
1) “Us” focuses on the relationship-
The best kind of business is one that persists. When you are able to retain a client and do work for them year after year, it maximizes the initial investment that was made to secure the business. Also, if you have development a good relationship with a client/customer, that will more often than not translated into additional business in the form of referrals. Also, it will allow you to generate a better reputation, especially if that individual or company provides a positive review or testimonial.
2) “Us” leads to negotiation-
When you are focused on consensus and collaboration, it is far easier to negotiate a beneficial deal for all involved. It also makes it more likely for parties to be able to openly and frankly discuss current and future opportunities without fearing that information would be “used against them.” This type of disclosure would leave to more meaningful and informed business decisions and allow for business owners to create more effective and profitable business ventures over the long term.
3) “Us” minimizes conflict-
If both parties are focused on us instead of acting self-interestedly, they are more apt to seek resolution of their problems in collaborative ways instead of through litigation. Parties will be more flexible and make reasonable adjustments because they know that it is better for all involved. People are more willing to create payment plans or alternative requirements when they are committed to a collectively beneficial agreement.
What are some of the pro’s and con’s that you see to a more “us” focused business?