People often find themselves looking for the winning scenario for themselves or their businesses. Finding the winning scenario is important for any long-term success. But even better than the winning scenario is the win-win scenario.

It certainly is easier to find the winning solution for yourself. You simply map out a strategy, implement it and tweak things along the way until you're able to get the results you want. But what most people fail to realize is that when you are able to find a winning solution for others as well as yourself, you can both "win", often with much less time and expense, than if you simply tried to come up with a winning scenario for yourself.

In his book Developing the Leaders Around You John Maxwell tells a story about the differences between Americans and Asians in the business world. To understand this, you need to play (or at least imagine) a little game:

Draw an imaginary line on the floor, and put one person on each side. The purpose is to get one person to convince the other, without force, to cross the line.

Give it a shot and see if it can be done? Go on, I'll wait.

Did you win? What about the other person, did they win?

Here is the rest of the story from Maxwell's book:

U.S. players almost never convince one another, but their Japanese counterparts simply say, "If you'll cross the line, so will I." They exchange places and they both win.

The Japanese players found a way to create a win-win solution. You can probably imagine that a person looking for a solo win here would spend much time and effort attempting to achieve that and probably with little, if not beleaguered, success. Basically, the only way to get the solo win is to wear the other person down until they give up. After you consider the consumption of time and resources, it's a very small victory.

Finding the "winning solution" is often far less taxing when you take a look at the problem from the other person's perspective. In fact, this is one of the principles in the book How to Win Friends and Influence People. If you want to win, you simply have to help others win. You provide a winning solution for them, that often comes with a winning solution for yourself.

In search engine marketing, the win-win solution is equally important. It’s not enough to get a win for search engine rankings, you need to get a win for rankings and visitors. Great rankings alone may feel like a win to some but ultimately it’s a loss to the business owner. Traffic achieved from great rankings is ultimately a loss if you have less than optimal conversion rates.

Despite common belief, creating a win-win scenario is often much less time and energy consuming than the single win. It may take a bit of extra work initially, but that extra work will pay off in the long run. In the end, nothing is left "broken" and everybody walks away victorious and happy. How can that be bad? So go out and create a win-win scenario today, and I'll bet you'll find success where you never thought.

Discuss this article in the Small Business Ideas forum.

June 5, 2007

Stoney deGeyter is the President of Pole Position Marketing, a leading search engine optimization and marketing firm helping businesses grow since 1998. Stoney is a frequent speaker at website marketing conferences and has published hundreds of helpful SEO, SEM and small business articles.

If you'd like Stoney deGeyter to speak at your conference, seminar, workshop or provide in-house training to your team, contact him via his site or by phone at 866-685-3374.

Stoney pioneered the concept of Destination Search Engine Marketing which is the driving philosophy of how Pole Position Marketing helps clients expand their online presence and grow their businesses. Stoney is Associate Editor at Search Engine Guide and has written several SEO and SEM e-books including E-Marketing Performance; The Best Damn Web Marketing Checklist, Period!; Keyword Research and Selection, Destination Search Engine Marketing, and more.

Stoney has five wonderful children and spends his free time reviewing restaurants and other things to do in Canton, Ohio.

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