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A Life of Negotiation. Cases of Failed Negotiations

A Life of Negotiation

Chapter 13: Cases of Failed Negotiations

Readers will find it a bit strange

why I wrote about failure cases in books about the secrets of success.

That’s because in my negotiating life,

as with most of my colleagues,

success and failure are mixed.

Between success and failure,

sometimes there is only a hairline.

How many times I thought I would lose to Japanese,


and American competitors,

but I ended up giving the company a surprise contract,

a surprise for the company and a surprise for me.

Then there were times

when I thought I was sure to win,

but just because a small incident happened

to turn the game upside down,

I didn’t react in time

and had to feel sorry.

When your company competes for a project

with many other companies,

there are many differences

between the competitors that investors must consider carefully.

And whenever the investor chooses which factor is important,

that factor is likely to put this company

or that company on the top.

The position of each company changes

according to the investor’s consideration.

So winning or losing is precarious

according to that consideration.

The experienced delegate welcomed the victory

with little joy but much anxiety.

Worrying about whether selling the project

with those price conditions will bring some profit

or just take the risk to the company.

Anxious because one day we will meet our Japanese,

German, and American partners on other battlefields.

They will seek to retaliate even more intensely.

They will dissect and expose what their company has done to prove

to customers more eloquently that

they are worthy of taking the previous project.

From the perspective of Buddhist philosophy,

it is true that signing one more contract,

embracing one more project only causes more resentment.

Win and then carry the debt naked.

When you lose a battle,

just forget about it.

If you tried your best but didn’t win,

what’s the point of regret?

The loser would be a little sad but,

as if he had vented all his bad luck,

he could easily put all his strength into a new battle.

Failure is the mother of success,

they say.

But after succeeding,

many low-spirited

and humble people put themselves into failure in the following glues.

Perhaps after a successful negotiation,

they had come to think that the outcome was

due to their individual talents.

In fact,

success in negotiation depends a lot on the preparation,

the professional work of the team,

the urgent needs of the customer,

the product meets

and last but not least,

the luck both difficult to avoid

and difficult to explain.

The difficulty in the negotiation profession

is that lack of humility can lead to failure,

but being too modest can also bring bitterness.

People only lend money to the rich!

Success easily leads to success.

When Bom met Phu Ong,

everyone guessed that

the outcome would be molded by Phu Ong,

not by Bom.

The advantage is clearly on the side of those

who have succeeded in society.

When I first started working,

everyone was the same.

When facing a big negotiation,

not having much experience,

meeting an experienced partner right in front of you,

of course, you can’t avoid the anxious mind,

sometimes it is clear that

you are passively in the hands of that old man,

and still can’t find a way out.

Stumbling is a daily occurrence.

Surely Phu Ong had also tasted many failures in his youth

before becoming the rich man in the village.

Throughout my professional life,

I have witnessed many cases of stumbling blocks,

just as I have personally encountered many obstacles.

I tried to explain.

The following are the most common cases.

1. Failure because of subjectivity

Subjectivity is all kinds.

Maybe it’s because you think your product is the best

– who doesn’t sometimes think that.

Or think that

when you go shopping,

you have a lot of money,

you can buy good things anyway.

Or your company has an exclusive product in the world,

why can’t it sell much.

There are many subjective cases that cannot be mentioned.

Subjective disease often occurs

when the character who sells

and buys does not understand the market,

does not know the partners and competitors,

does not estimate the maximum

and minimum capabilities of his company,

does not imagine the customer.

How do customers

or partners evaluate their products or services,

there is no ability to compare,

and of course there is no clear strategy,

no negotiation route.

When not mastering those factors,

that is,

the objective data,

of course,

every man looks at his navel and thinks it’s beautiful,

then subjectively thinks that no one is equal to him,

and carelessly rushes into the battle

with his thoughts also won.

Assuming that the “other side” also shares the same subjective idea,

it is unlikely that the discussion will find a conclusion.

To avoid subjectivity,

negotiators should be prepared to use scientific methods

to analyze the market and use objective measures

to estimate the probability of success.

In today’s open world climax,

selling is still not qualified.

You still have to sell a lot,

sell at the highest possible price,

not only that,

but you have to benchmark yourself

with competitors in the same competition,

and then capture an increasingly large market share.

Still those who are more talented than that,

not only will they be able to sell this glue,

but in addition,

they will also display the glue later,

always locking customers

for the near future on their products.

So they eliminated the opponent not only in a glue,

but possibly forever.

2. Failure because of self-love

This disease is as common as the subjective disease

but much more severe.

Subjectivity also has room for science,


and reasoning.

And narcissism is completely thinking only of their own face

(the representative negotiates).

I have had a case that made the whole conference laugh

when a representative of a certain company kept saying:

“Trust me, our product is the best in the world (this is subjective),

I It will be very sad if after many days

of sharing together like this,

you still do not believe me…”

At conferences people prefer to hear more objective analysis,

such as online reviews of products by users,

or comparison tables of products by unbiased review companies.

Objectivity is easier to convince.

When the salesman constantly asks why no one listens to his heartfelt

and heartfelt words,

it is easy for self-pity to overflow,

and of course the buyer does not listen anymore.

The conference table is often very bored

with the presence of narcissistic characters,

because these people have little scientific evidence,

just rely on their own beliefs

and even prejudices to reason,

then there are angry gestures,

sometimes words that collide with others.

When being touched with pride,

the character keeps chewing,


not letting go,

the words are very painful,

and then the negotiation forgets the main goal

to only focus on the individual.

Very soon the conference will isolate these people,

going through more objective scientific discussions.

When the situation is too much,

the president sometimes even whispers to the attending company

that they should send a replacement.

Such narcissism turns into self-exclusion!

3. Failure due to internal confusion

This section has a lot to do with the company involved in the negotiation.

Before commercial needs,

every company arranges a small team

or an organization to sell and buy goods.

However, not every company has a formal organization.

There are so many confusing cases

that it’s hard to say them all.

A common case is that the company comes to negotiate

and sends an inexperienced and inexperienced representative.

It must be admitted that it is not easy to find someone

who is fluent in communication and has depth of content.

However, if the company is well organized,

the teams all work in a spirit of consensus,

then the negotiating delegate,

whether lacking or experienced,

will have enough support to get the job done.

On the contrary,

if there is a contradiction in the company,

the partners in the negotiation room will see it immediately.

Delegates’ arguments will lack confidence,

are sometimes fragmented and incoherent.

I have also met many cases where a company sent people

to negotiate but expected the negotiation to fail!

This is another kind of mess!

Wanting to fail but still trying to negotiate is a very difficult situation to explain!

This situation often occurs

when there is an internal dispute in the company,

especially at a high level

Sometimes it is the outcome of the negotiation

that will affect the future placement of important company positions.

Personally, I have been a victim of such a negotiation.

The capital in my company at the time was in the process

of restructuring the entire leadership.

I am the delegate tasked with negotiating a very large project,

with high sales,

that has a direct impact on the year-end results,

even the future of the company.

If my negotiation is successful,

Mr. A will be appointed as the new Chairman

because he fully supports the project being negotiated; and if I fail,

Mr. B will become the Chairman.

Therefore, right from the preparation of the bidding,

the factions in the company were torn apart.

I’ve received as much pressure from within the company

to deliberately fail the negotiation

as much encouragement to try to succeed.

At a time like that,

I had no choice but to act

as a mercenary according to my conscience.

I ended up bringing back the contract.

Lucky for me, lucky for the company,

because Mr. A becomes the new chairman is a really good person.

I can’t imagine what would happen if I failed.

4. Failure due to lack of preparation

If every negotiation only used the talents of the delegates,

there wouldn’t be many contracts signed in this world.

The reason is to find many talented people to appoint

to so many conference tables that are taking place everywhere.

Choosing good delegates is a must.

But actually the preparation

for a negotiation case always has to be carefully arranged

so that even if the delegate is not excellent,

the negotiation will be successful.

Find out about competitors’ prices,

needs and preferences of customers,

the situation of previous negotiations…

All of these preparations are solid support

for the delegates to negotiate.

5. Failure due to broken promises

In the face of various demands,

under the pressure of the situation,

delegates can sometimes panic

and make promises,

guaranteed orally.

This is often the case

and can easily lead the negotiation to disappointment.

Since the customer will click on the promised place,

ask more questions to keep the promise.

The delegate who backs down on the commitment will lose the client’s credibility first,

but soon the client who sends him

or her will react adversely.

In a negotiation,

speaking and keeping your word is a difficult thing to do.

Before speaking, the delegate must obtain the commitment of his own company

to see if it is able to guarantee the promise to the customer.

There is nothing better than making

and delivering on promises to win the trust of customers.

Promises are guaranteed to fail.

6. Failure because there is not enough money to progress as committed

Like any company,

when they have decided to sign a contract,

it means they have met the conditions to perform the contract.

One of the prerequisites is financial ability.

In the past,

in the 1970s,

customers rarely checked the financial viability of the company

they assigned to the contract.

But nowadays,

every time when going to negotiate,

the company has to bring the bank along,

because it is the bank that is in a position

to ensure the financial viability of the company receiving the contract.

One of the cases that customers must pay attention

to is the capital level of the company chosen to perform the contract.

Too small capital before a contract

that is too big can easily lead to a difficult situation to handle,

for example,

the company is dissolved before the contract is completed.

This situation is very common in the real estate industry,

especially small real estate companies.

Not only their capital is too small,

but sometimes they have been perjured many times over.

As a result,

there are many cases where these companies dissolve,

do not perform the contract to build the housing complex,

while they have received 30 or 40% of the project money.

Today, in advanced countries,

such a thing is unlikely due to pre-arranged guarantees.

7. Failure due to insufficient personnel

In projects of a highly technical character,

the client sometimes requires some key company figure

to be personally involved in the performance of the contract.

These are the requirements above.

Below are often the requirements for the number of personnel,

this usually happens

when a very large construction site is opened,

with a large demand for personnel.

When negotiating,

the company that wants to get the contract must demonstrate the ability

to mobilize a large number of employees for the project

as well as arrange the actual presence of key experts.

Failure to demonstrate the ability

to mobilize personnel right at the time of negotiation

It can easily cause customers to lose trust.

8. Failure due to lack of creativity

Negotiation is a shrewd,

fluid process.

When entering into negotiations with an unknown partner,

it is impossible to predict their reasoning,

the practical difficulties they have not yet presented,

the barriers their side faces,

the demands that they face not yet released.

The negotiating company must demonstrate the ability

to solve the customer’s problem through creativity.

I often tell a story about a 14-year-old boy

who was selling on behalf of his parents in an entertainment store.

A visitor just standing outside the shop looking into the glass booth was invited

by the child to view the goods.

After a while,

the baby learned that the guest had to live alone on weekends,

his wife was away from home.

The clever boy offered to take him fishing in a wonderful place,

clear water,

full of fish…

“I have a fishing rod ready,

a good fisherman will guide you,

you will be very happy,

I will take care of you,

he eats well during the weekend…”.

And the boy received a large amount of money for knowing

how to offer a “package” service to a stranger.

Creativity can help solve many unexpected problems.

In a negotiation,

creativity often helps the negotiation get out of the deadlock

by offering one or more solutions to reach consensus.

Lack of creativity easily causes the negotiation

to drift slowly to failure.

* * *

The following are common cases.

There are countless other success and failure situations,

due to a thousand other reasons.

What is certain is that negotiating requires a positive attitude,

if not more—a polite

and respectful attitude toward the other side,

meticulous preparation.

But in the end there is

still one reason for success or failure that we all fail to grasp:


It is luck and bad luck that even more force us

to keep a positive attitude,

when failing as well as when succeeding.

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Angel Cherry

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