For so long, we’ve been told to focus on win-win solutions and win-win negotiations. Yet in a traditional win-win situation, the goal is for two stakeholders–typically the buyer and the selling company–to win. Where does that leave you, the seller?

When you close a sale, who really wins? Is it you? Your customer? Your company?

Too many people who need to sell–whether for a company or sell themselves as a small business owner–talk about feeling unimportant, caught between their company and their buyers. They express frustrations about being pushed to sell certain products, when they know a different solution will fit their buyer’s POWNs (problems, opportunities, wants, needs better.

Do you feel caught in an uncomfortable situation where you don’t see yourself winning alongside the buyer and your company?  Do you feel you are merely the middleman who sometimes has to choose sides? Do you feel like you need to choose to either feed your company or feed your family?

It sure is a balancing act!

That’s why we need a broader view of winning; one where all parties work together and the stakeholders can win. We’ve dubbed this the win-win-win or Win3–the “win-cubed.” And it’s the result of collaborative selling.

A sale made collaboratively where the buyer has a problem, opportunity, want, or need (POWN) addressed with your solution (product or service) provides a winning outcome for everyone.

This graphic illustrates the concept of the Win3™ and the inter-connectivity of the stakeholders.

The center components of the model are the means for accomplishing the triple win, Win3.

The Winning Stakes

How does each stakeholder win when a sale is made? In many ways!

Here are some of the winning possibilities when the sale is made and the buyer’s POWNs are successfully addressed.

  • Your customer wins by having a solution to their POWNs. They may benefit in any number of ways, including: more satisfaction in their work, less stress, more money or savings, more free time, peace of mind, an opportunity captured, an enhanced reputation, a problem resolved, a specific need or want fulfilled, and the ability to take on additional responsibilities and challenges.
  • Your company wins with increased revenue, additional sales, market share gains, customer retention, higher profit margins, higher employee retention, and a good reputation.
  • You, the seller, win by being gainfully employed and compensated, although that’s not unique to the collaborative selling approach. What makes collaborative selling unique is the stronger buyer relationships and value provided that create loyalty and lead to more, and often larger, future sales. You also become a valuable part of the solution, and that builds greater confidence and satisfaction.

And the winning doesn’t stop there.  There are additional stakeholders who also win, aren’t there? The buyer’s company in B2B sales, your company’s shareholders, others in your company who build the product and deliver the service you sell, or those who simply keep their jobs because your sales contribute to the company’s bottom line.

Even your personal stakeholders (family and friends) are winners, because your well-being and financial success affect them, too.

Can Everyone Really Win?

You may be wondering, “Is it really possible for all the stakeholders to win?”


When a collaborative sale is made, and the buyer’s POWNs are addressed, it’s a string of wins all around.

Winning for all is possible when you focus on the components in the middle of the Win3 model:

These actions lead to closed sales…and a Win3.

In today’s world, collaboration is king. Buyers want to be involved, companies need to thrive, and hardworking sales pros need to personally gain as well. Move beyond the win-win approach and focus on relationships, solutions, and sales that all everyone to win.

Now, how about you? Who are the winners when you close a successful sale?

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