In many situations, it is possible to find common ground even where it doesn’t seem possible. The classic situation is in the exchange of money.
A customer wants and genuinely needs a service but cannot afford it. The salesperson can do one of two things. Either, she can say “sorry, Mr. Potential Customer, go away because you can’t afford what I sell” or she can ask “what else, other than money, do you have that I could take instead?”
The point in this in NOT to discount, the point is to find common ground at another level. Maybe this customer has no money but has 50 friends who also want and need the product – but also have money to buy. Maybe enlisting this customer to refer these 50 friends offsets the salesperson’s marketing costs and justifies selling to that customer for far less.
Although this looks like a discount, it isn’t. The customer won because he got what he needed without going broke. The salesperson won because she got access to a market that would have been costly and time-consuming to reach.
This “value-based” approach goes beyond simple compromises. It creates value for both that is greater than what each had to begin with.
It works in sales, for families, and in the workplace. Above all, it feels great!