The Personal MBA

Master the Art of Business

A world-class business education in a single volume. Learn the universal principles behind every successful business, then use these ideas to make more money, get more done, and have more fun in your life and work.

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What Is 'Common Ground'?

Common Ground is a state of overlapping interests between two or more parties.

It's far easier to reach Common Ground if you understand the needs of your Probable Purchaser.

Aligning interests is critical to reach Common Ground, and consequently, a Transaction. Sales isn't about convincing someone to buy what they don't want or need.

Negotiation is the process of exploring different paths to reach Common Ground. The more paths you explore, the more likely you'll find interests that overlap.

Josh Kaufman Explains 'Common Ground'

Common Ground is a state of overlapping interests between two or more parties. Think of your available options as a circle that surrounds you. Your prospects have a circle of available options as well. Your job is to find exactly where those circles overlap, which is much easier if you understand what your Probable Purchasers want or need.

Consider the job you're currently in, or the last one you held. Chances are, you accepted that job because you were willing to take on certain responsibilities, and your employer was interested in having you do the work. You were interested in being paid a certain amount, and your employer was willing to pay you at least that much. Your interests overlapped, which resulted in a job offer and a paid position at the company. That's common ground.

The same thing happens every time you purchase something from a retailer. They have a product you want to own; you have a certain amount of money they are willing to accept for the product.

If you don't want the product or the retailer wants more than you're willing to pay, no Transaction will take place.

Common Ground is a pre-condition of any type of transaction. Without any areas of overlapping interest, there's no reason for a prospect to choose to work with you. After all, it wouldn't make sense to pay more for something than it's worth to you. Why expect your prospects to accept your offer if it's not in their best interest?

Aligning interests is critical to finding Common Ground. Sales isn't about convincing somebody to do something that's not in their own interest. Ideally, you should want exactly what your prospects want: the satisfaction of a desire or the resolution of an issue. The more your interests are aligned with your prospect's, the more they'll trust your ability to give them what they want.

There are always many paths to a successful transaction, which is the essence of negotiation. Negotiation is the process of exploring different options to find common ground: The more potential paths you explore, the greater the chance you'll be able to find one in which your interests overlap. The more open you are to potential options, the higher the likelihood you'll find an area of common ground that's acceptable for all parties involved.

Questions About 'Common Ground'


"A compromise is the art of dividing a cake in such a way that everyone believes he has the biggest piece."

Ludwig Erhard, politician and former chancellor of West Germany


From Chapter 3:

Sales


https://personalmba.com/common-ground/



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The Personal MBA

Master the Art of Business

A world-class business education in a single volume. Learn the universal principles behind every successful business, then use these ideas to make more money, get more done, and have more fun in your life and work.

Buy the book:


About Josh Kaufman

Josh Kaufman is an acclaimed business, learning, and skill acquisition expert. He is the author of two international bestsellers: The Personal MBA and The First 20 Hours. Josh's research and writing have helped millions of people worldwide learn the fundamentals of modern business.

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