“What’s in it for me?” This is the old tape that continually runs in your mind when another person suggests you accept their proposition—both in business and your personal life. While their offer could be any one of an array of possibilities, your tape still plays. 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 is a particular situation?
The key to receiving usable value from others is to achieve clarity on what creates value for you and/or 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 buy/sell transactions, value-added situations and/or alliance relationships.
Armed with clarity in understanding what value is to you, you can filter every offered proposition through your needs window. Look at the total value package being offered. This includes the cost of acquisition, cost of ownership or usage and the value-added services. If services are added or bundled into a package that do not create value for you, do not be fooled into believing the value-added is free. If you are offered something you do not need, do not accept, regardless of how good the deal seems.
Areas in which your enterprise could receive value:
- Strategic alliances with competitors
- Supplier alliances
- Customer alliances
Keep the power to determine what you consider to be value. Rather than say, “What’s in it for me?” a better approach is to know what you want or need and ask for it up front. Asking for what you want on the outset can lead to getting what you want. Getting what you want is much more powerful and valuable than taking what others offer.
Ed is the Founder and CEO of the 501(c)(3) non-profit public charity, Cigar PEG Philanthropy through Fun, and president at Rigsbee Research which conducts qualitative member ROI research and consulting for associations and societies. He has been called “the dynamite that broke up our log jam” by association executives—rarely politically correct and almost always provocative—and from a dozen years as a United States Soccer Federation referee, Ed calls it the way he sees it. Exceptional resources at www.rigsbee.com.
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