How to Talk Solid
There are four components of the solid: what the two parties involved in the exchange acquire and give. Let's call them “buyer” and “seller,” although it does not matter. Another thing matters: what each of them gains and loses.
Seller and buyer
We arbitrarily call “seller" the party playing a more active role in the exchange. Seller offers something for exchange and initially states the terms of this exchange. Accordingly, the “buyer" is the party playing a more passive role. Buyer decides whether to make an exchange and objects to some terms of exchange.
Salesman: I suggest you a "Polar Expert" sleeping bag, which is very warm even on a frosty night. You get enough sleep, do not catch a cold, and get a lot of pleasure from everything that you will do while camping! Its price is X [one and a half times more than other sleeping bags]. Alas, it takes up more space than other bags, it is 30 percent heavier. Pay and take it!
Buyer: I do not know if I should buy it. I need a sleeping bag, I was just planning to go camping for the weekend, but I don’t like that it is so expensive, big and heavy.
This is not really a dialogue. This is what happens, rather, on a non-verbal level: thoughts and intentions. I brought it simply to explain who I call the seller and who the buyer is.
Solid: Acquisitions and Costs
So, who receives and gives what in this exchange?
The buyer gives his money. He gives them to the seller. But it is difficult to say who acquires the remaining costs: extra storage space to store a large sleeping bag, place in the car to carry it, more energy to bring the bag from the car to the camp and back. In general, there are costs, although their recipient is not obvious.
There are other costs not so obvious at the first glance. Having spent more money on this sleeping bag, the buyer cannot buy something else, probably also important to him. The extra space that this bag occupies in the pantry is taken away from something else, which should also have been in the pantry, and now it is not. The extra space occupied by the bag in the car means that buyer cannot take something else. Or, because the bag is too big, it blocks the rear view in the mirror. In order to drag this bag from the parking lot to camp and back into the car, the buyer probably has to make an extra walk. These are the costs that the buyer incurs due to purchasing this one, and not another bag.
What will he acquires in exchange? Of course, a sleeping bag. However, more valuable is the opportunity to get a good sleep and not catch a cold if the night turns out to be cold. Vigor for the whole day is of value, too. The joy of hunting, fishing, barbecue, sports, anything that he does all day is a real value. Respect of others for the fact that he was so prudent is important, as well. All this the seller promised him. Buyer gains these benefits. From whom? Also not obvious.
The seller gives his goods. He accompanies them with promise of all benefits that the buyer could receive and explanation of costs that fall on the buyer's shoulders. He also takes time and effort to negotiate an exchange with the buyer. Other costs might be caused by the terms of the exchange negotiated with the buyer.
What values he acquires in exchange? The buyer’s money could be used to meet the needs, both his and his company's. He enjoys a successful sale, as well as gratitude for success, the image of a successful seller and other benefits associated with success.
These benefits and costs arising from the exchange are “solid” for both of its participants.
How to distinguish a mutually beneficial, win-win exchange from any other? There is a simple formula for this:
Acquired > Spent
What is the meaning of this formula? The sign "more" here is not mathematical. It means "more important and more valuable." And the “acquired” and “spent” here are not “goods” and “money”, rather what both parties consider to be solid, important, and valuable to themselves. The ability to meet their needs. Or the loss of such an opportunity.
If what a person hopes to acquire in course of exchange is more important and valuable to him than what he gives and what he has to spend for owning the acquired goods, then he takes the exchange as beneficial. If both parties believe that they gain something more important and valuable than what they have to spend, the exchange is mutually beneficial, win-win one.
Why is a win-win exchange solid? It is the base for mutual rapport. This rapport serves as foundation for long-term good relationship between the buyer and seller. This relationship forms the foundation for further win-win exchanges. Solid could be built only on a solid foundation.
Only by agreeing on the solid terms, one can make the exchange mutually beneficial. Agreeing on the empty, one never achieves that. If the exchange is disadvantageous to at least one side, there is no place for solid rapport and even more so for long-term relations. A crooked, empty foundation can’t hold anything solid. So, talk only the solid things, agree on the solid terms only.
What should be agreed upon? Each of the four components. In its own way.