The Mentality of the Country “Lagom” or “just right”

Hand shakeYes, I come from Sweden, a democratic country were we most often strive towards consent among everyone. For example, everything decided in a business meeting should have everyones consent, and everyone in them meeting should know what to do without getting told to do it. Yes, I know, I am a stretching it a little, but most often, we swedes are like that. Everyone should be happy and feel that they can contribute. Don’t you think then that we all should strive towards getting a win-win situation at all times?

Once I was working for a sales manager which was only focused to reach his set budget for the year. He aimed to reach above the set budget at all costs. He was a man that couldn’t “see the bigger picture”, he only wanted the deal and the money in from it. He never even once stopped to look at the “bigger picture”. What I mean here, is that the bigger picture is strategies for long-term business goals that includes a 5-year or 10-year business plan. He was only interested, at the most, a year planning ahead. He pushed his sales colleagues to sell more, sell more and sell more. I feel that a lot of companies are doing the same. They forget to plan ahead, they fail to build and modify a long-term plan as well as a short-term plan. It is very common when you have set goals that are unrealistic, or that the company only is looking for profit, profit and more profit, even if they are making more profit than the year before. They are demanded to get more and more money in for various reasons.

“Getting a new customer is always more expensive than keeping an old”

Anyway, back to what I was saying. The same sales manager as I mentioned earlier, once came into my office to tell me that he had made a major deal with one of our major customers and bragged about the sell that he had done -“They don’t realize what they have signed, it is so fortunate for our business, and in the long run, not so beneficial to them. And they signed it!” Wow, that scared the living daylight out of me! How could he be so narrow minded? He had the perfect opportunity to make a great win-win contract and build a long-term relationship with this major customer for years ahead, and he blew it! Instead he risked everything for just one contract! ONE contract! I realized that sooner or later, this customer would realize the mistake, and then be very disappointed at the sales manager i e the company.

I mean, even if business is business, win-win should always, for the benefit of a long-term and sustainable business relationships, be where you should strive to reach. The benefits are so many! You will have a loyal customer, ability to sign long-term contracts, trust, a natural relationship and a sure loyal business partner in the future. As I mentioned yesterday, “Getting a new customer is always more expensive than keeping an old”. I don’t get this risky business of not having a win-win situation for both parties. I want to be able to stand for the values, morales and ethics of the company I work for. Wouldn’t you? Some cultures practice this to the extent that they refuse to make business with you until they know you. Therefore, they get to know you before they even make a proposal.

Relationships are everything, that is what marketing is all about – relationship marketing. Building trust and building win-win situations for successful long-term businesses with customers and colleagues. I am aware of cultural difference in the world, but businesses is always about relations, it requires at least two parties always, a buyer and a seller.

All the best,

Carina Asp
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