Reaping what is sown

MEDDIC/MEDDPIC, Solution Selling, Consultitive Sales, Deal Registrations… I’m sure you’ve heard of these and I believe they all started with the best intentions.  Unfortunately human nature is somewhat egocentric.  Those that know me will have heard me talk about what I like to refer to as “Personal Net Benefit” – let’s call it PNB because acronyms are cool.  I’ll break down the premise of PNB below:

PNB+ : Time and/or Energy exerted, net result is positive outcome for both.

  • Think typical business relationships, new partnerships, maybe even distant relatives.  Keep in mind the timing of the net benefit does not have to be parallel.
  • Doing something for someone else, even perhaps a stranger, is not uncommon if there’s mutual benefit.

PNBNe: Time and/or Energy exerted, net result is positive for one, neutral for other (outside of exerting time/energy with no reward).

  • This one usually requires some sort of a relationship, I would guess most friendships fall within PNBNe perhaps even extended families.
  • Helping someone move, dropping off a meal for new parents,  giving a referral (not just a lead – but an exerted effort of introduction), solving a problem that does not directly relate to you.

PNB- : Time/Energy exerted net result positive for one, negative for other.

  • This one is difficult, usually requires deep relationship and is subsequently rare – some would refer to this as unconditional love.  Doing the right thing for someone else’s benefit at your expense.
  • Another way to look at this is filling someone else’s cup, while emptying yours.  I believe most marriages that fail can attribute something to this theory.  When we date and “fall in love” the relationship is typically PNB+, which progresses to PNBNe over time.  PNBNe can last for a while if managed properly, but eventually runs into severe problems.  Using the cup analogy  – If I’m helping to fill your cup from the fridge, then the water in my cup will last much longer.  If however, I’m regularly filling your cup from mine – eventually my cup will run dry.
  • Psychiatrist and Author Scott Peck said “The oposite of love is not hate – it’s laziness….  Love is not a feeling, it’s an action….”.   Imagine the state of humanity – let alone families and workplaces if we filled each other’s cups directly from our own.  Trusting that I won’t run empty because those that love me will not let me run dry.  Sure – we can fill our own cup. I would argue, however that there is something intrinsically human to need our cup filled by other humans and those that fill their own, slowly calcify their cup to the point it can no longer hold water (which is why PNBNe can only last so long)

In the workplace PNB- can manifest itself in many ways.  Selling the less expensive solution (or perhaps recommending the competitor) because it’s a better fit.  Helping your peer get a promotion while you allow yourself to get passed up.  Taking an unfair share of blame for the sake of someone else.  It comes down to doing the right thing – despite the personal outcome.  Ideally, It will come back around and will serve as the foundation for long-term relationship.

Now that we have a basis to measure individual motive, we can dive deeper into common sales processes and their desired net result.