Why Playing Fair Can Get You Far

The business landscape is competitive. The line between ethical and unethical can often become blurred. There is a big discrepancy and ultimately a determining factor in reputation, of how one sees the difference between the two. With the rate new businesses and competitors are emerging, there is a rising concern from established companies that they must do whatever they need to in order to sustain their place in the market. Sometimes, though not always, this leads to a one-sided result that is achieved by not taking the high road or considering the repercussions.

Playing fair does not make you weak. There are rules and ethics in the game of business that allow anyone to have an equal shot. Keeping these rules in mind and respecting a level playing field will build respect, not only for how others see you, but if others want to do business with you.

Positive Reputation

This is the most important aspect of conducting fair dealings. Every other benefit of fair play derives from the fact that positive business interactions will garner you more respect amongst peers and even competitors. Every negotiation has the possibility of a “Win/Win” scenario. When you work for transparency throughout the process and settle on that solution that is mutually beneficial, both parties come away feeling good about the situation. Over time, word of these continuous positive outcomes will spread and begin to develop into your reputation.

Returning Clients

Depending on the industry, drumming up new business can be a painstakingly difficult process that takes weeks, months, even years in some cases. This is why recurring customers/clients are so valuable to any business. Whenever you walk out of a sale and feel like you pulled a fast one on somebody, there will be the short term benefit of acquiring that customer and the long term detriment of never getting them to come back or refer you to other clients. Maintain transparency throughout the process and reap the long term benefits of a lifetime client.

Book of Business Expands

Referrals are the lifeblood of most companies. These referrals increase tenfold with each positive negotiation, as word begins to spread that you listen well and react accordingly to the other side’ needs. By making a habit of understanding what both sides of the table are looking for, your network will begin to expand as those that you work with send new business your way. Effectively communicating to reach a strong compromise in all your work will increase the likelihood that you become the go-to for anyone referring business in your industry.

Too often, negotiations and business dealings end with one side feeling cheated or misled. This does not have to be the case. In fact, in order to succeed in the long run, honest and reciprocal negotiations should be the ultimate goal. Unfortunately, egos and emotions get in the way and decision makers do everything within their power to not wind up on the losing side of the negotiation table. By proceeding under the ideal that both sides can be the winning side, you will be better equipped to play fair and ensure that nobody feels slighted.

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