Are You Forgetting About Win-Win Situations?


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I receive around 100 emails per day. Around 50% of those are people asking me to do something for them. Some want a product or service reviewed, some want feedback on their latest project, some want a question about blogging or SEO answered, some want help to choose a good domain name and so on.

If I had time available I would be glad to accommodate all requests, just for the sake of helping people out. But guess what, running a dozen or so websites takes a lot of time, and as most people I struggle to find time even to eat healthy and to exercise.

The result? I ignore 95% of those requests.

If math is not an opinion this means that I answer 5% of the requests that come to me via email. So what do those messages have in common, and how are they different from the other 95% that goes straight to the trash folder?

It’s simple: the requests I reply to always create a win-win situation. That is, the other part wants something, but she is also willing to do something for me, so everyone will be happy in the end.

And I don’t use this principle only when I am being pitched. When I need to pitch something I’ll make sure my message makes very clear what the other person will earn by working with me.

For example, a couple of years ago I was recruiting affiliates to launch a product with me. I could simply email people saying: “Hey, if you promote my product I’ll give you 50% commissions, so are you in?”. The problem is that there are dozens of products out there that also offer 50% or higher commissions, so the people I would contact wouldn’t have much to gain from my offer.

A better approach, which is the one I used, is the following: “Hey, I am launching a product soon, with 50% commissions. On top of that if you become n active affiliate I’ll be more than glad to return the favor and promote one of your products or services.

You can create win-win situations with almost anything you want to accomplish. Want to land a guest post on a popular website? Tell the owner you’ll be plugging the guest post on your own website once it goes live. Want some feedback on your latest web design? Promise to retweet the posts of people who give you feedback. So on and so forth.

Takeaway message: Always go for the win-win situation.

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9 Responses to “Are You Forgetting About Win-Win Situations?”

  • Alan @ Work At Home

    I absolutely love win-win situations. I can’t even count how many emails I get from people who want me to promote this and that or write a blog post about their product or website. A lot of times I see no real benefit that can be gained from doing so, and I usually just ignore such requests.

  • Lionel Bachmann @ Model Trains

    Good article, especially when it comes to the affiliate marketing example. One of the things you have to remember is to separate your offer from all of the other offers, and be unique. Win-win situations are always offers that can’t be refused.

  • googler

    Thanks for the simple yet practical advice!
    A win-win situation for both parties involved definitely is much more appealing for a request or favor to be implemented.
    Thanks Daniel!

  • Geet | HobbyIdeas

    Point well taken. The post looks so obvious but it never clicked before reading it. It’s like you’ve read a person’s mind. I’ll remember the win-win situation before pitching anything 🙂

  • ES

    The freemium business model is based on something even better – Offer something to others, and they will be more than happy to help you back.

    WordPress, is a wonderful example. Since they enable so many web masters to create professional blogs, people are glad to contribute something back to WP, in what ever way they can. For instance, I renew the yearly domain mapping charges (even though it doesn’t help much after the first year) and I ensured that I clicked on their affiliate link while purchasing my hosting plan. Blogger is another example. Goodness always pays.

  • Harrison Li

    That’s right! There ain’t no such thing as a free lunch!

  • Alan

    I agree with you as well, Daniel.
    Nowadays there’re a lot of people who expect to get everything in change of nothing. Personally I hate the beggars, and even more when they don’t have the attitude to give something in exchange.

    It seems nowadays people is forgetting the concept of added value. Nice post BTW, I share your point of view.

  • Shyxter

    I agree with you, Daniel. We should always go for the win-win situation. It’s another way of saying that we should help each other out; a partnership that provides benefits to both parties. Everybody is happy as 2 people or organizations help bring each other to success.

  • Optimistic Journey

    This is a great practice to exercise and it applies in all areas of life but is great when dealing with potential prospects that we want to work with. Thank you so much for reminding me of this. I often find it easy to promote my own products and services through social media but I don’t promote other people’s products and services as much. That’s something I should start doing. Again thank you!

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