“What’s in it for me?” This is often the old tape running through your mind when another person suggests you accept his or her proposition—both in business and your personal life. While the offer could be any one of an array of possibilities, your mind still questions it. Allowing this freewheeling mind tape to control you is weak positioning on your part—you are abdicating your control. Why give others the power to determine the value you need in a particular situation?
The key to receiving usable value from others is to achieve clarity on what creates value for you and your enterprise. A good method to determine this is to take inventory of your core or perceived weaknesses. Then decide what products, supplies, tactics, capabilities and services can help you to shore up your limitations. These can be transactions, value-added situations or alliance relationships.
Clearly understanding what is of value to you can help filter every offered proposition through your needs window. Evaluate the total value package being offered, including the cost of acquisition, of ownership and usage and the value-added services. If services are added or bundled into a package that does not create value for you, do not be fooled into believing the added value is free. If you are offered something you do not need, then do not accept, regardless of how good the deal seems.
Some areas in which your enterprise could receive value include:
• Strategic alliances with competitors
• Supplier alliances
• Customer alliances
Keep the power to determine what you consider to be of value. Asking for what you want at the outset can lead to getting what you want. Getting what you want is much more powerful and valuable than taking what others offer.
BY ED RIGSBEE, CSP
Ed Rigsbee, CSP, is the author of “PartnerShift, Developing Strategic Alliances and The Art of Partnering.” Rigsbee has more than 1,000 published articles to his credit, and is a regular keynote presenter at corporate and trade association conferences across North America. He can be reached at (800) 839-1520 or EdRigsbee@aol.com. For a treasure trove of additional information and ideas, visit his Partnering University website at www.rigsbee.com.