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Why Didn’t Anyone Think of This Before You?


G: I have nothing to object to, everything is logical. The last question remains: if it is so simple and logical, why has no one thought of this so far?


J: Good question. It seems to me that there are three reasons for that. First, fighting is easier than cooperating, although cooperation is better than fighting. Second, the tool that we used to build algorithms appeared recently and, alas, has not yet become generally accepted. And third, while developing this technology, we applied the principles of minimizing the mental efforts.


Making a sale has always been seen as a seller’s struggle with the buyer: who would overcome, who could win more. The seller is trying to sell his product at a higher price, the buyer wants to buy it cheaper, ideally for free. And there is no mutual benefit. For the seller, any price is lower than what he thinks he could rip off the buyer. For the buyer, any price is above his ideal. Both are the losers.


G: But how could it be otherwise? Millennia of trading have shown that this can only be so, and nothing more!


J: We set the task differently. Price is only one aspect of product value. This is an attempt to present the value of a product using the universal equivalent of money. But the value of the product for the buyer is not in its price, but in meeting the need. Not all costs of ownership could be expressed in monetary terms. On the other hand, the amount of money that the seller receives for his goods also does not express all aspects of value. For the seller, it is often not the amount that is important, but the ability to satisfy their own needs.


So, to both buyer and seller the sale is an opportunity to satisfy their needs. Money is not the only characteristic of value; there are others. This understanding creates the opportunity for both parties to feel that they are winning. When the buyer receives exactly what he needs, and the seller in exchange receives what he needs, both benefit from this deal.


G: A beautiful dream but has nothing to do with real life!


J: There is nothing new in the idea of mutual benefit. About 40 years ago, the first book on win-win negotiations appeared. Since then, many books have been published, many training session have been held, but for some reason win-win negotiations have not become popular yet.


We revealed the reason. Actually, it is quite overt. Finding terms for mutually beneficial exchange is not an easy task. Solution is not obvious, and even counterintuitive. This is a difficult job. It requires a lot of mental effort. But recommendations come down to one thing: think, maybe you'll find it. Nice examples are only annoying; they can only be used in exactly the same situation.


G: Yes, we’ve heard a lot of buzz that we need to negotiate in a way that would be beneficial to everyone, but I didn’t see anybody really negotiating in win-win mode.


J: An approach that allows solving similar problems in another area, in technology, began to develop 70 years ago. This logical approach was equipped with many practical recommendations. But an idea to apply it for win-win negotiations, despite all its attractiveness, failed. There were many reasons, and the main one was a complex process of problem solving. To apply it successfully, people need to change their thinking, and this is not easy. It takes many years of continuous practice. Could this complex way attract negotiators if there was a habitual way of win-lose negotiations?


And then the third component: We began to develop it recently. This is a method of minimal mental effort. It allows us to solve “unsolvable” problems in different areas by using professional knowledge and common sense. This work consumes minimal mental effort. The entire intellectual and creative load falls on the method and its technologies.


Only when these three components came together, could the win-win sales technology be born. This technology, firstly, is aimed at achieving mutual benefit: both buyer and seller should benefit from the sale. Secondly, this technology is instrumental. For each complex intellectual action aimed at gaining the mutual benefit there are specific tools and clear recommendations. And thirdly, this technology consumes minimal mental effort. You observed that during the sale.


The absence of at least one of these components made this technology impossible. Although each individual idea seems obvious, no one before us could assemble them in a holistic technology.

Concessions | 13 Dialogues on Win-Win SalesHow to Convince Sellers

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