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A Life of Negotiation. Heaven or Learning?

A Life of Negotiation

Chapter 2: Heaven or Learning?

Like playing the piano or drawing a picture,

negotiation is an art.

We often hear that the Chinese

or the Jews are very clever at trading.

I remember hearing so much as a child

that I was convinced that

the talent for trading was innate!

Then as I got older,

I often saw the Jews

as the key players in all the great deals in the world.

If they are not a buyer,

they are also a seller.

And if not both

then they are also intermediaries.

Then the bank they hold also plays a significant role,

their lawyers are also present in all areas of asset exchange.

Some even suspect

that even commercial laws in many countries were written directly

or indirectly by the Jews

and then operated to the benefit of their lobbyists.

All of that makes me believe even more that

God has endowed them with rare qualities

that are rarely found in other races.

The comment about the Chinese

or the Jews is not known to what extent it is still true today,

but when we look at the world market,

we see that the average export per capita of Japan,


the United States,


and Italy are all very high,

so it is clear that these countries trade

as well as the Chinese or the Jews.

Over the next few years,

Korea also became a significant force in international trade.

I still remember 30 years ago,

Hyundai and Daewoo,

although they were two large conglomerates (chaebols) of Korea,

were just small actors in the world.

In those days,

they built their cars according to Ford and General Motors models,

with no modifications,

and they were just happy to see that their Ford

and General Motors clones were exactly the same as the originals.

Now even Samsung has become a great pillar

of the global electronics industry,

playing on par with Apple,


and Microsoft on the playgrounds dedicated to dinosaurs.

Their art of selling is different from Apple’s model,

although the results are similar.

Together they killed Nokia,

Blackberry, Sony,

Siemens in the smartphone industry.

On the one hand,

the quintessence of electronic technology combined

with the wonderful forum of the most famous screen actors and singers,

is Apple;

The other side is the art of enticing

through products that appeal to the masses,

which are both easy to use

and aesthetically pleasing to the extreme.

Two patterns,

two ways of trading but the same brilliant result!

That said,

to immediately conclude that in the business

and negotiation industry,

there is no absolute model.

But everyone has to admit that Korea

or the United States knows how to trade,

as well as Germany,



Japan and many other countries.

This ability is clearly the result of years of learning,

not innate!

Before I continue to write,

I would also like to say it first

so that readers will not wonder.

My book,

my experience is mine alone,

not the word of god.

My route has given me my own feelings,

another route will lead to different feelings.

But there are thousands of different trade,

negotiation and negotiation routes.

And another person

who travels frequently will give you other pragmatic arguments

that they have personally had a chance to absorb.

What makes people good at trading and importing and exporting?

If we call negotiation an art,

what makes that art transcendent?

What makes one guy a better salesman than another?

Better product?

That may be true,

but where does the talent for attracting customers,

the ability to convince the company’s product is better

than other places?

Then, before sitting at the negotiating table,

there were many questions raised.

Negotiating with people from one country is the same

as with people from another country.

What’s the difference between the French and the Swedes,

the Koreans from the Ma,

the Hong Kongers from the Singaporeans?

How about Russians, Chileans, Argentines?

Then negotiate to sell follow the same rules

as when buying or renting?

In a negotiation,

when is the best time to close?

Is it necessary to talk to the “bones” to win?

How to avoid losing the position

before the opponent

and then having to withdraw unconditionally?

All these things probably do not say enough about the difficulty

of the art of negotiation.

The hardest thing in the art of negotiation is

to achieve a good result,

balancing the interests of both sides (win-win).

But what is the balance of interests for both?

Do the parties have the same idea of equilibrium?

Surely not!

But whether or not it is,

the person sent to negotiate still has to achieve the ultimate result

that both sides are happy,

and both sides are satisfied in the transaction!

The ability to produce results may be in many ways endowed,

the other undeniably the result of many years of experience.

Within the scope of this article,

I would like to share with you some stories

that I have personally experienced.

From Asia…

My company’s negotiating team encountered an unexpected mishap in China.

After almost two years in theory with the Chinese partner,

that day both sides agreed on all the terms

to be able to come to a contract.

Just when the Chinese partner stood up to shake hands,

marking the results of the negotiation process,

a young French engineer in my delegation spontaneously clapped his hands to congratulate.

While having fun,

the Chinese partner suddenly fell face down.

They asked permission to withdraw

and asked us to come back the next day…

The next morning we were surprised to see a whole new team.

The old team of the previous day as missing!

The new team asked to renegotiate from the beginning.

Why? Investigate with the intermediary,

because the young engineer clapped his hands

so happily that the Chinese partner was afraid.

The intermediaries also reported that even if they did not,

they would not dare to sign the contract

for fear of internal suspicion of inadequate work.

A rush of laughter made the 30 of our team sit back

for another two years,

going over every word of the contract,

which has been carefully considered for many months…

One thing is for sure,

naivety is bound to be innate!


never let trainee engineers attend important company negotiations.

The young engineer has not yet grasped the oppressive atmosphere

of the meeting room,

as well as the heavy mind of each actor.

Did you know that when I negotiate,

I always carefully but discreetly observe each member

of the delegation in front of me?

Sooner or later,

you’ll find an opening,

and just like that,

the weak spot is always the young engineer.

They also know as well as who their profile is,

know what price is good,

know what trading conditions are good,

know what delivery time is acceptable.

The leader of the delegation on the other side was free to pretend,


imitate the clown disgruntled

by my side’s recommendations,

but it was difficult to deceive me

when the young men on their side looked chattering and happy.

Older people sometimes reveal themselves,

many of them involuntarily unable to avoid shaking their thighs.

You don’t need to look any further,

just put your hand on the table

and you will already see the table vibrate.

Then what is there to hide?

We know that we are sitting

in front of people who are satisfied

with the recommendations

that have just been made,

but also play a game of disparagement to intentionally add more.


who doesn’t want to charge a little more for the fun of the house.

But thanks to the exhilaration of shaking our thighs,

we simply stood up,

pretended to be indignant and displeased,



and immediately declared:


we cannot continue to negotiate.”

So it’s as if the other side will speak up,

having to exclaim:

“Calm down,

there’s a new idea you’ve been raving about”

and then order the date to be signed.

That is the future, the next.

If he acted,

she would also sing cai luong!

In fact,

signing a contract right from

that moment can also be called good and satisfying.

But I also met many cases

where the partner was older and more skilled than that.

They also give more excuses to “scratch” more partners.

Imagine just

when the customer would sign the contract,

but you let your partner howl,

“Alas, we would have bought twice as much from our place,

but also paid nearly 5 percent better!”.

I’m sure you hit the black heart.

Because when they hear the exact number is 5%,

the 30 people sitting on the other side

of the table will immediately start the computer,

and suddenly they will not be able to hide their dismay.

At that moment,

you just need to add exactly one last sentence

and you’ll “pick up” the game:


what we have said has not been taken back.

It is a matter of honor and prestige.

If you guys only further assure

that the next trips will continue to buy from us,

I will also keep the negotiated price,

not ask for an additional 5%.”

I’m sure the buyers will happily promise to keep the relationship

for a very long time!

So your side has won for the future items too!

That’s how sweet you are – all “cai luong”!

That’s how warm it is – it’s all drama!

Some people call it shrewd,

and some say it’s an unrighteous harlot.

Another story happened in Seoul,

South Korea.

That year the Power Company wanted

to buy a 100MW turbine from us.

When our team got there,

we received a “secret” message that

the company needed the turbine urgently,

and could buy it quickly

as long as the price was not too high.

The secret also added that the President of the Korean company ordered

to buy our turbines because at that time,

the turbine manufacturers had sold out of their inventory,

and there were no more spare ones.

Our turbine is the only one left in the world market,

at first thought no one bought it,

but now it is more valuable than gold!

In my eyes,

this is a classic case of easy negotiation.

Sitting at the negotiating table,

the Korean negotiating team did not know

that we had information in advance,

so they kept trying to twist

and ask for a lot of price reduction.


we know in advance that

we don’t have to try too hard.

One side continues to prolong the negotiation in vain,

the other side wants to end it early.

We came up with a plan to prevail.

I called the President of the company,

explained everything and asked him to fax

and call the negotiating team back.

The Korean side,

who had already let someone check our information at the hotel,

saw the fax and accepted our conditions.

So you are curious,

want to know what the faxes write?

Too simple:

“Mr. Vice President!

Please drag the delegation

to leave Seoul immediately to Caracas (Venezuela capital).

Our only remaining turbine that

you are negotiating has already been purchased

by the Venezuelan power company.

The price is undetermined

but at least 10% of the price of the turbine

they sold them last year.

Wishing our group a safe journey to Venezuela.”

Signed by the President and General Director.

“Han army” is frantic!

And there was no more fuss about it,

demanding to sign the contract early,

using the excuse that there were many other things to negotiate.

The lesson was so valuable,

because just one fax,

costing 20 cents,

not only did we sell the last remaining turbine

(no promotion is good!),

but also increased the price by nearly 10%.

Not to mention saving valuable time

if you sit and negotiate.

But every lesson must be swallowed,

learn to the end!

We also have to conclude in terms of style as well.

My friend,

if you have a bad habit of reading people’s faxes,

then there are times

when you may encounter many uncertainties.

Who would have thought that

the fax we sent was a poison for the sneaky reader.

Just anyone who is curious to read a little bit

It will be burned in the gut.

If you consider the habit of reading faxes as an innate curiosity,

then you should think that

studying diligently is a righteous thing to do.

* * *

Negotiating with Asians should be careful.

Asian people look gentle and smiling,

but when they beat their partner,

they are very happy.

So sometimes there are two games in a negotiation.

Achieving the results is enough,

but the leaders of the delegations on both sides

It must also know how to “dance the sword” rather

than just pointing with five fingers!

“Sword dance” here is a wine fight,

karaoke or golf betting.

Sometimes in a talent contest,

it is revealed that a party has a mind.

From there the negotiation will be long and uncomfortable.

The Chinese are very strange,

they demand all conditions

and then ask for a discount,

and so on they repeat many times.

I remember a customer in China who bought 300 train cars from us

and demanded a price reduction more

than 20 times on the grounds

that we “have to respect their hundred-year friendship”.

Although they are so difficult,

it is always fun to negotiate with them,

because the food is good,

the reception is warm,

and the day the contract is signed

It is always busier than in other countries,

at least five or six hundred guests attend.

Only at that time (1970-1980),

China was still very poor.

They have very strange customs.

For example,

they invite a party,

drink like a waterfall,

and then we have to pay for the party.

They call it custom,

so it’s hard to argue.

You probably don’t see all of our suffering.

Friend, if you’re not happy to pay for the party,

you’re being rude.

People welcome you so warmly,

but why are you so lackluster.

You are a rich country,

they are a poor country,

you only give one meal

but you have to do something and other,

it’s really unreasonable.

And if on the contrary,

you happily bring dollars to pay for the party,

oh well,

they will honor you to the top

and then the next day

and the next day too…

they invite the party again,

but only worry

that your delegation won’t come to pay for the meal.

What’s there to be sad about every day?

Only when he returned to the parent company in Paris,

my Chairman,

after reading the expenditure report,

kept frowning and asked:

“What do you eat to eat so much,

go to negotiate,

not to eat!

If you like Chinese rice so much,

there’s no shortage of good Chinese restaurants in Paris!”

Did he know that

I was tortured by food every day,

like a sacrificial animal:

from eating snake meat to a cup of “cow,”

not to mention a salamander’s tail

and monkey brain among a thousand “champagne” wines.

The Japanese are different,

at least in terms of form.

They are very quiet,

listen and always ask again and again

if they understand the meaning and meaning.

They pay close attention to every detail.

When they need to return home to supplement their documents,

they make a clear date and time

and never miss an appointment.

On time,

on time,

with the right records,

with everything…

Their special feature is

that even though there are many companies

and ministries in the delegation,

they always have a homogenous attitude.

We never see them arguing.

And the head of the Japanese delegation always gives the impression that

he is the official spokesman of a “united Japanese delegation”.

All the other members of the delegation,

everyone as one, “sing” as in a chorus.

But experience tells me that’s not the case.

When they closed the door,

they voiced their disagreement with each other.

I must say that

when I negotiate with the Japanese delegation,

I am a bit disappointed.

They just let the partner speak,

then somewhere they return to the original proposal,

without changing the content.

Months and years passed,

they persisted and did not move.

The reason is understandable that between

Together, they optimized the function of the negotiation.

They agreed on a common path.

So what else is there to change,

especially within each member company,

everything has been frozen

because the chairman has approved!

The Japanese are very flexible in their negotiations,

sometimes speaking in white,

sometimes in black,

and are always gentle enough to make us admire.

However, considering what they suggested,

in the end they just changed the bottle,

the wine was still the same.

Negotiating with Singaporeans is great!

They work so seriously that

they emulate both the attitudes

and interests of the delegation sitting in front of them.

Once I almost burst into tears

if I didn’t try to keep my composure.

The reason was that my delegation was hesitating

to think about the best solution,

at that moment a young engineer

on the Singapore team’s side innocently said:

“I have optimized for you on my computer, see…”

So they opened their laptops

and let them read the ideal charts of my own side.

Not only do Singaporeans always complete their own work,

but also emulate the work of their partners.




Thanks to that

I didn’t hesitate to take the decision that their charts clearly

and definitely proved to be honest!

There are many delegations from many other countries complaining that

Singaporeans are very “arrogant” (arrogant).

Who teaches the world so openly,

and of course that is a foolish attitude!


I really appreciate the people of this country

because it is rare to see such a small country

but the people are diligent

with such a high sense of responsibility.

If asked if the “The negotiating ability is

due to a gift or study,

this is the most obvious case that

the skill is purely learned.

Thai people are different.

They are very likable and absolutely polite.

A little bit is to bow with hands clasped

with respectful gestures and delicate eyes.

company has signed many contracts in Thailand,

and every time as one,

I always keep an honest attitude.

If Thai people love you,

then they will subjectively defend your own rights

as if they were indebted to you in a previous life.

They used to say to me:

“What the hell is the deal with negotiating,

just go golfing together

and then go home and sign the contract.

Let the assistants take care of it all,

the interests of our brothers have already understood,

don’t worry,

the contract will be very balanced and protect both sides,

don’t doubt or question anything,

just play freely …”.

And indeed,

Thais never meant to trick someone

they thought was their real friend.

So while my company in France thought I was negotiating,

I went to play golf,

and sometimes went to temples with Thai partners,

and waited

until the Thai assistant finished writing the contract.

Just like that,

the job is done,

golf is still played.

attitude of Thai friends makes me see that

the art of negotiation still has something innate!

Filipinos are very strange.

In Africa, there are a lot of women,

a lot more than men.

If you work with the Phi women,

the job is very standard,

each promise is a commitment

as sure as engraved on the copper.

But if you are “unlucky”,

have to work with African men,

then oh well,

you should give up soon.

Because I don’t understand why,

it’s hard to know where they are when they need them,

and the phone is always off.

They make empty promises and long-term promises.

Once I took a plane from Paris to the office of an African friend,

informed my arrival date a month ago,

along with the name of the hotel, flight number,

landing time …

but I still couldn’t find him when I got to the place.

Until the day I returned,

he suddenly appeared

and was not ashamed to say that he had forgotten…

I learned a lesson:

every time I go to the Philippines,

I just want to negotiate with a female partner,

both responsible and on time.

And of course in a professional atmosphere!

In Malaysia (Malaysia) and Indonesia (Indonesia),

the atmosphere is different.

These two countries have a majority Muslim population,

and their partners are very cute and gentle.

They have a natural talent for smelling money.

If they don’t have money,

they won’t negotiate.

As long as you have money,

you have them,

it’s so simple!

To Europe, to the Middle East,

to the Americas Sitting with the Germans is the same as with the Japanese,

very orderly.

However, Germans often reveal their intentions more in the “buy it,

buy it,

if you don’t buy it just say it” style

because they think this will help end the negotiations early.

They are a bit aggressive,

so when we talk to them,

we feel like we are being bullied!

But that’s not really the case,

they’re just a bit strong-willed.

When you negotiate with the Germans,

be careful of your health.

Every day they invite them out for a beer.

But they drink standing up,

so if your legs are not good,

in the long run,

your strength will not be able to stand it.

When they’re happy,

they’re likely to annoy you,

as they begin to sing collectively songs that glorify German culture,

even the German military.

You will have the feeling that you are cornered,

and when you leave,

four “guys” approximately 1 meter 90 in height hold you back.

“We” sometimes get drunk

and forget that you are a negotiating partner from the land

of Dragons and Children,


he must be a citizen of the capital Berlin

or the beer municipality of Munich.


going to Lac Long Quan and being in Dortmund,

Frankfurt or Leipzig will also become “lost troops”.

The next day “they” apologized publicly,

but in the apology there was still an implicit wish

that same evening would sing triumphantly

around the beer hall like the previous day.

The German negotiating skills are very professional.

They have a very clear concept of dual/multiparty interests.

They think it’s fair to always show their partners

what the most balanced contract is.

Although they are a bit subjective

(who is not a bit subjective),

it must be admitted that

they always look at things in a very healthy way.

And if you have a quick decision to follow their recommendations,

they will be very decent,

will not try to “scratch” your side further.

Their innate ability is to never have the thought of fooling anyone.

They are very frank and direct.

To be honest,

I really enjoy negotiating with the Germans,

because I am not inherently crooked.

In my experience,

negotiating with Europeans

or North Americans is a bit “joint” at first,

but then becomes easy.

Easy to say does not mean that

you do not have a strong mind

or can accept trading under any conditions.

It’s easy because they know the rules of the game,

haven’t sat down to talk,

they already know what the final “win-win” is.

They don’t take dignity very seriously.

Negotiation is business,

so if both sides know where the win-win level is,

ending the negotiation early is a beautiful

and realistic move.

They don’t care much about the ”

both sides have to make concessions,

it can’t be done alone” style of Asians.

And the best part is that they rarely intend to “scratch”

you to the bone marrow.

Once, the day before the conference,

my partner and I happily played golf together.

Only on the 8th hole, he said:

“If you sell at that price,

we will sign it right away tomorrow,

I don’t see anything to add or subtract.”

And things went as expected.

The French and the British both have very high honor,

but the two types of honor are very different in nature.

The French consider themselves the most intelligent race in the world.

They overthrew the monarchy

through the 1789 revolution that led to model democracy,

invented the concepts of human rights,

invented the trinity (Montesquieu),

and much more!

They claim to be the pioneers of mankind,

having ruled over all of Europe under Emperor Napoleon.

France gave birth to Descartes,

the king of reason.

Because of their great face,

they are very easily influenced.

If you want to succeed in negotiations with the French,

you just need to see each French counterpart sitting

in front of you as a figure of great intelligence.

They will stroke their own dragon robes complacently

and then right after that,

you can ask for whatever you want in the negotiation.

You should only remember one thing:

you must always give them the right to conclude,

to say the last word,

the last sentence.

They always think they are right,

regardless of the opinions of others.

You honor them,

they will love you and will make every priority for you.

The British side is different from France.

The British consider themselves to have the highest culture

in humanity in terms of lifestyle

and progressive thinking.

They honestly think that their culture is second to none.

British business law,

seen to be near-perfect,

is now applied around the world.

English has become the voice of the masses in the flat world.

When negotiating with the British,

you must always demonstrate that

your way of life is based on high cultural thinking.

What is tall?

They do not talk orally like the French,

but everything must be written in writing

so that everything is clear and clear.

Whatever you say,

there must be a reason,


Whatever you do,

you have to do it right.

Any recommendation must be widely discussed,

and if a decision is made,

it must be unanimous.

Negotiating with the British was very difficult,

because they never made it clear,

every sentence contained a hidden meaning.

At times of great stress,

they keep their cool,

even their sense of humor can annoy a partner during a headache!

The British have a character (some call it a virtue)

that when they are determined to prevail,

it is difficult for anyone to stop them.

The determination is strong in its collectivity.

They are very respectable,

because everyone probably remembers

the war images of the last century,

the British rushed into the battlefield

without caring about life or death.

It’s not difficult to get results with the British,

because they will “slang” to tell you what they really want.

You just follow the requirements and you’re done.

* * *

Negotiating with Middle Easterners is perhaps the most difficult,

because they are suspicious.

Telling them anything can upset them;

right or wrong,

they still think that this side intends to deceive them.

I once saw a European delegation

who was tired of asking to go home

and not return to the Middle East

because they were suspicious of too many things,

when in fact they “opened the horse’s intestines”

so that both sides could get results quickly.

In this case,

the hurry is death,

because maybe drying a horse’s intestines is also a kind of beauty?

For the Middle Eastern crowd,

negotiation is an accomplice of time

and should be avoided,

especially in haste.

The irony is that if you are not in a hurry with them,

you will also die,

because these men are so good!

I tell this story so that you can sympathize with them.

What you may not know is

that it is common for Middle Eastern men

to have 2 or 3 official wives

(they are allowed to have 4),

plus a few unofficial ones.

Then a cub,

not two or three!

I once knew a friend with over 30 children,

so I can’t remember the exact number.

You have to understand people,

because at the same time they negotiate with you,

they have 50 lives in a large family to take care of,

30 children to teach.

That’s not to mention

they have to resolve the inevitable disputes between “partners”,

between children who are two or three decades apart.

By the time they enter the negotiation room with you,

with their remaining energy and concern,

they only want to find some ease from you.

If at that moment you lack empathy and understanding,

the negotiation will go into trouble.

Middle Easterners have always viewed negotiation as a game.

The more fun,

the more you like to play for a long time,

it’s deadly!

For them,

it doesn’t matter if there’s no end,

so a lot of negotiations don’t work out.

* * *

I have also negotiated in Türkiye and Egypt,

these two partners think very cleverly.

I imagined a great success in Türkiye

and an equally failure in Egypt.

In Türkiye,

I was deeply saddened

when I learned that

our company finally lost on the Metro project of Istanbul city.

At first,

I was overjoyed

because the Mayor himself solemnly promised us the project,

not only that,

but did not hesitate to make such an official announcement.

We immediately confirm all conditions you claim in writing.


he immediately used my document

and signature to demand more from the German opponent.

And in the end we lost,

not only that,

but also brought the pain of the person

who was just taken advantage of.

The French Ambassador was the first to “smell”

that bad things were coming,

and immediately informed me,

but it was too late.

So I also lost face with the Ambassador,

especially he had to send a telegram

to the French government to report in detail.

In Egypt I also had a hard time swallowing.

Originally this was a railroad project

and my company was fighting Mitsubishi Heavy Industries.

The Chairman of the investor company is a cruel,

if not a bit… shameless person!

He invited both companies to meet in the same room,

at the same time, and both delegations had to be full.

Done somewhere,

the Chairman gave a loud public auction between the two opponents.

Everyone present could hear each other’s details clearly.

Whenever we lower the price,

the Japanese company will of course have

to lower the price a bit more.

When the Japanese came down again,

it was our turn to come down,

and we had to complain a little more.

Both the French and Japanese sides are aware of the cruel nature of the game,

but have not found a way to end it.

Like that, everything turned out like a race down the ladder.

The Japanese side was visibly impatient.

My side is also too angry,

the anger of people who feel offended in dignity.

It wasn’t until much lower that I imagined one thing:

the winners of the project will end up being the losers

when the price has dropped too low.

I have never sold at a loss in my life.

What is good at selling at a loss,

I ask you!

I suddenly thought:

in this head-to-head game,

the Japanese must definitely lose to us

because they always reason with dignity.

They will react like samurai,

wanting to win at any cost;

while our French side reasoned with reason,

with reality and with price charts.

I decided to withdraw

when our company saw the inevitable loss.

But at that moment,

I suddenly had malice.

I wanted to pretend to participate enthusiastically in the auction

to drag the Japanese down deeper than the loss,

down to the hell of the obstinate.

If they lose a lot,

even if they win,

it must be considered a loss!

And we will definitely lose the tournament

because of early termination,

but in the end our loss must be considered a victory

because we still know how to keep our feet dry in the face of loss,

and also know how to control ourselves

and not be greedy for the sake of honor.

From the moment I had those thoughts,

I steadily lowered the price,

enthusiastically participating in the plunge into hell.

So both sides go down.

When I saw that the selling price was below 20% of the price,

I suddenly withdrew and gave up.

And, just as we expected,

the Japanese side raised their hands in victory.

And we pretend to be sad!

But when we got back to the hotel,

the delegation couldn’t hold back the joy anymore,

because we all understood that

we had ceded the disaster to the Japanese.

I called my President,

and he did not hesitate to confirm:

“If you sell the project at a loss,

I will have to resign immediately.”

His voice was cold,


I know he’s telling the truth.

No big European company is crazy enough to intentionally take a loss!

Let me ask you the truth:

you call Egypt?

Is mine victory or defeat?

Which word best describes the situation,

and my mood best?

We obviously didn’t win,

but when our opponents were drained of their “blood” in a victory

that was too costly for them,

oh, that was also a memorable consolation for our side.

* * *

For me,

negotiating with the Jews was a pain.

They are unbelievably beautiful!

But the interesting thing is

that they have a very rich creative mind,

even in the end,

they also struggle to find new solutions.

There is one thing you must remember:

once you shake hands with the Jews,

there is no way you can leave them

without buying or selling them.

They wear you like leeches,

and it’s important to them to get an income

if they guess you have some money.

At any rate,

the money you have in your pocket has to run to their pocket to finish.


they rummage through everything they can sell you.

They will ask you what car you ride,

what watch brand you wear,

what shoes you wear…

Only when you accept the purchase

and give them all the money in your pocket will they leave you alone.

The wicked call it a kind of pickpocket with a way.

So it can’t be said that the Jews lacked formality

or lack of innate ability!

There is another people in the Middle East

who are very good at trading and negotiating,

the Lebanese.

They have been known as merchants for five thousand years.

When we sit down to negotiate with them,

we will see their slickness,

flexibility and charm.

Anything they can sell.

Any price they can convince.

No matter how tough the customer is,

they can be spoiled.

Since ancient times

they still have a good sales tradition.

Some people say they are willing to sell what can’t be sold…

I have two friends who are from this ethnic group.

During the years of sitting at the same table in school,

I felt that they really had something innately different from each other.

* * *

There are two places in the world that

I am very tired of negotiating when there is a project:

Brazil and Argentina.

They have already entered the meeting room,

but many times they have not even bothered to open the file to see,

and in the negotiation

they do not clearly distinguish

between collective interests and individual interests.

Whereas in Chile or Venezuela,

they take their records very seriously and work very well.

In Venezuela,

another advantage is

that they are very cheerful and gentle.

I have a memory of going to Mexico to negotiate.

A few days before the meeting,

the head of the delegation took me back to his farm.

At first I thought he was plotting to trap himself in an easy way

to manipulate

when the negotiations opened.


after many days of hunting,

he did not ask about work,

but only said that in life,

life is important,

and negotiating a project

no matter how big is just a detail in life.

From that day on,

I looked at life differently,

seeing nothing as absolute anymore.

Of course,

our negotiations after that were very easy and pleasant,

although neither side gave in to the other,

but because we knew each other,

it was easy to sympathize.

The art of negotiation is also the art of harmonizing the two sides of life.

The innate element is not in negotiation skills

but in the art of finding happiness.

And the secrets

To return to comparing the art of negotiation

with the art of playing the lute,

after all,

every art must be practiced,


very elaborate.

Talent is not enough,

success in negotiation requires at least finding out:

what our side wants,

what their side wants,

what to expect,

what price they are willing to pay,

how to accept delivery conditions,

what is the solution

and punishment for breaking a promise,

how to pay for goods,

through which country’s bank,

which country’s law to use in case of a dispute…

The more advanced the society,

the more the art of negotiation resembles chess.

The retreat must have such a standard strategy

that the enemy has no way to resist!

To do so,

you must prepare for a very elaborate

and meticulous negotiation.

In addition,

each faction must choose a single representative member,

or a decisive spokesman for the whole squad,

which means having to work collectively

with a new squad.

It is also an unmanageable aspect of a negotiation

if in a team there are many factions,

mingling with each other,

controlling each other

and sometimes even overpowering each other.

If you look at negotiation as a regular operation,

there is clearly no room for natural genius anymore,

although intelligence and strategic vision still play a key role.

Perhaps there should also be a few lines about corruption here.

Experience has shown

that in countries with low corruption,

such as those in North America or Northern Europe,

a negotiation proceeds relatively quickly,

and if the final outcome is not reached,

everyone understands why.

The members of the delegation did not suspect each other.

They work together very frankly,

giving the interlocutor the feeling

that no wall will stop the progress,

no word,

no matter how clumsy,

will break the spirit of ease in contrast,

in countries famous for corruption,

the situation is different.

Each sentence contains a hundred meanings in black and white,

anyone who wants to understand why can understand,

but if understood correctly,

the negotiation will move a little more.

In the end,

if I had to summarize in one sentence about the experience gained through negotiations,

I can only say “the main effect is still luck”.

I would like to dedicate the following two facts to conclusion.

In 1995,

our group thought it was certain

to win the Bangkok metro project,


but in the end,

negotiations on the details of the project failed.

In contrast,

in 1991 we thought

there was no hope for the Epon power plant project in the Netherlands,

worth US$2 billion,

the largest power project in the world at that time.

But at the last minute the contract was on our side

because the German opponent failed

to conclude the negotiations on several key points.

Life’s story is very strange:

When it comes,

it doesn’t come,

until it seems to have lost all hope,

it comes again!

So both the innate factor

and the academic achievement have to succumb to the chance of life

that no one knows in advance.

In fact,

you can never learn all the words in the world,


Some things need to prepare before entering negotiations

What do we want in the negotiation?

How do we rate it?

How much are you willing to pay?

Are our factions united?

Has our side’s internal negotiations come to fruition?

(If not, it should be delayed.

If so, each ministry

and sector must agree on the selection

of a single representative member,

a common strategy.)

Get to know your opponent thoroughly.

What do they really want?

How much do they pay?

What is their culture like?

What is their negotiating tradition?

How is their presentation and speech different from ours?

Maintain respect for the opponent despite our strengths,

in the sense that they are both a collective

and an individual in the team in front of us.

If the negotiation takes a long time,

it is advisable to find out the family origins of the individual subjects,

because the two sides still have many opportunities to collaborate.

Must understand where the “win-win” lies,

and the route to go.

Must be flexible and try to be creative

to find a balance for both sides.

If you do not know the route,

you will never reach the destination.

Listen and speak only

when fully understood.

When giving a speech,

you must find all ways to make the other side understand exactly

what you want them to understand.

And when the other side speaks,

don’t hesitate to ask again and again

until you’re sure what the other side wants you to understand.

Honest and tactful communication is the key

to a successful negotiation.

Negotiating is about getting results,

not showing off talent.

Don’t invite narcissism into the game.

Be persistent and sweet like chewing gum in your mouth.

At the same time,

be as emotionless as a wick that floats on the water,

even in a storm,

it will still float.

Maintain a cheerful personality.

The other party is not the enemy

but the person who will cooperate with him

when performing the contract,

that is, the contract,

of course,

must lead to success for both parties.

Never think that a quick negotiation will necessarily go to waste!

If you know in advance

where the winning position for both sides is,

it’s never a mistake.

On the contrary,

if you do not know this,

you will always be rude,

or have a bad reputation!

Try not to drag,

buy time,

because that is a symptom of lack of arrangement.

Closing negotiations early is always better.

There are many professionals who think that when negotiating,

it takes time to win!

Absolutely right:

never rush.

But when both sides want results,

there’s no reason to delay.

When the time comes to close the negotiation,

the winning company should make a nice “closed” gesture

towards the customer,

as a tactful way of recognizing

that the customer is always the boss.

(It doesn’t hurt to give in to the boss,

but it also benefits:

they will pay better later on.)

Knowing the subject’s customs

and being fluent in a foreign language is an unexpected advantage.

Enter the negotiation with a cheerful heart.

I go to a place of negotiation,

not a place of violence!

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