During my summer travels, I was in a small town visiting family. My aunt introduced me to a gentleman who wanted to pick my business brain. I was happy to oblige, as it came to light he hadn’t had a strategist offer him advice that led to any measurable results.
He hit me with some interesting questions and experienced several light bulb moments. I thought his situation was interesting, but not unique.
The young man owned and operated a company, let’s call it Company A. There is also a Company B in existence, offering the same services as Company A. Both companies, through unfortunate events, were forced to begin again or start over. This gentleman, the owner of Company A, had been asked to buy into Company B’s business. Although both owners had businesses before and had been forced to start over, it seemed Company B was in a stronger position to negotiate with Company A.
During my work in the business world, I often see this type of challenge, where a business owner does not understand their value; whether it is intellectual value, financial value or collateral value – one must understand it.
The first step is to understand your true value.
The second step in this example is for Company A to build a relationship with Company B with an intention to develop trust, as Company B needs to also understand the true value of Company A. In sharing pertinent information with Company B, Company A will then solidify a position of strength.
The third step is to create a collaborative partnership; a partnership where both bring value to the table, value that can be fully measured and quantified and, in this case, to discover what’s needed for the partnership to succeed.
The fourth step is to offer multiple options. Company A could have offered a sum of money for the launch of the business; to be paid back within a defined timeframe. Company A could have offered equipment for leverage to the partnership’s ability to accept certain contracts. Company A could have offered expertise to the client acquisition process and managing funding of projects. The point is, it is optimal to have many options available for discussion.
Instead, Company A gave a sum of money and then felt he had been taken advantage of and was now in a position of having to work with Company B. This feeling will follow the partnership until it is resolved.
Following our discussion, the owner of Company A had an approach to resolving this issue and new opportunities for success in the new budding partnership.
I love it when the light bulb goes off and my vacation was even more satisfying, just from seeing his face!
Happy negotiating, folks.
Lisa Thomas is the CEO of The P3 Group, Inc. and The P3 Group International, LLC, publisher of The P3 Power Boost Online Magazine, host of The P3 Power Boost Radio Show, and President of the Board of Directors of NetWorth. She is a 20-year veteran in business, executive leadership and performance coaching/consulting. She has worked extensive with corporate call centers, executives and small business enterprises. She’s been a featured columnist and business strategist on Affiliate NPR, WFDD, The Cary News, Fox 8 and numerous NBC affiliate stations.
Lisa is best known for her business and leadership acumen and is widely recognized her ability to develop leaders to be more effective. Lisa is also a sought after keynote speaker on various topics women in leadership face. She generously donates her time and expertise to a number of organizations and worthy causes, including NetWorth, the Business Succession Forum Network, and the Hazel B. Neal Foundation, for which she recently was recognized with the woman of Power, Purpose and Vision award. In her downtime, she can be found practicing yoga, cycling, swimming, reading a good book or spending time with family and friends.
CEO/Sr. Business Strategist
The P3 Group, Inc.
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