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  • Elias Zeekeh, MBA, CPA, CMA

Win/Win and Sustainable Business Relationships

What does a win/win solution and a win/win mentality mean and why is it so important in business? A win/win solution means both parties feel good about a decision that is being made, and it works well for both of them. A win/win mentality is an attitude of cooperation rather than competition, and to act based on a paradigm of abundance rather than scarcity. In a long-term it’s the only way to have a sustainable interdependent relationship.

If one side loses in the negotiation, then yes one side will get what it wants short-term, but in the long-term this will not sustain. The customer will decide to go elsewhere and the supplier or service provider will eventually back out or not provide the same level of quality. For example, if a landlord eliminates discretionary expenditures in maintaining properties they can reduce their costs, and if they over do-it the situation may no longer be win/win for the tenant and they will leave. Furthermore, if the landlord negotiates a service contract with a contractor that is very favorable to the landlord the contractor may honor it initially, but as the contractor heads into busy season or if their business picks up they may no longer prioritize the landlord’s service calls. The issue will spill over to your tenants in delayed or poor service. Higher paying customers will be prioritized and the contractor may rush your jobs to get onto ones that pay a higher rate. Delayed calls and poor quality work will result in frustrated tenants.

In conclusion, the long-term win/lose agreement equals a lose/lose agreement. It is better to have no deal if both parties can’t win/win. The longer parties stay in a win/lose arrangement, the harder it is to deal with down the road due to expectations. Additionally, valuable time and energy will have been wasted on a failed arrangement. Working from a win/win mindset is the only way to do good long term business, and it can be done openly and honestly as their no need to trick the other party into the deal.

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