“Win-Win” Situations Are Never Real.

From business deals, to silliest of the arguments with your friends, we all would’ve come across the term “Win-Win”. What is a Win-Win Situation? A situation where nobody loses anything but are being equally benefitted? Wrong! That’s what the fool believes in.

Being a twenty year old amateur sales person, my ideas about “win-win” situations are different.

Any win-win situation involves two kinds of people. The top dog — the one who wins the deal. The fool — the one who believes he has won the deal.

I get it. Let’s witness a Business call, to make you understand.

Tim and Chris are on a phone call discussing a deal. Chris is a sales executive trying to sell his SAS product to Tim, a customer of his. Chris’ intention is to sell his product to Tim for a price he has in mind. On the other hand, Tim needs the product to support his steel manufacturing business, but he demands a price that is way lesser than what Chris has proposed. Here, both Chris and Tim are equally smart and are capable of getting what they want. The negations start. It goes on, and on, and on. At one point Chris puts forward a point saying,

“Hey Tim, If you agree to pay the proposed price now, you can use this product for two years consecutively without any subscription fee.”

Tim begins to think.

“You can run you’re business without having to spend time with me every three months negotiating subscription cost, and I can have a customer retained with nothing much to lose.”

Now Chris seems vulnerable to Tim.

“We have a “Win-Win” situation here Tim, take the offer and help me out.”

Well, Deal closes, and Tim agrees to pay slightly lesser than what was proposed and he is happy that he does not have to worry about subscription for two years. Does that make Tim the top dog and Chris the fool? No, as a good sales person, Chris did his research and understood that Tim had major issues in his business that mattered more, and he wouldn’t mind spending a certain price to save some time and money for two years. So he proposed a price that covers 30% of subscription fee for the next two years. During negotiation, let’s say he has lost 5% to Tim’s smartness. Still, Chris makes a breakeven, has an acquired customer for two years with which his firm’s inventory would increase.

Both Tim and Chris did not lose or gain much, but Chris was able to bite off a little bit more and Tim never knew. Now Chris here, becomes the top dog and Tim, the fool.

As Mark Cuban said, “Always look for the fool in the deal. If you don’t, it’s you.”

My theory here is simple : A Win-Win situation is like a mirage. It's a trick the top dogs play to make favourable deals. The one who believes, becomes the fool and will not be aware until later or never.

Hit the heart if you feel my theory makes sense. Comment below your thoughts.