The WSJ had an article last week that explained how Donald Trump grinds small businesses with his “negotiating tactics.” When he decides he doesn’t like their work, he refuses to pay them. B/c the small businesses cannot afford to litigate against Mr. Trump, they end up taking a huge discount just so they can get paid something.
We meet many people who are in constant negotiating mode, trying to grind every last dollar out of everyone. The risk of course is burning so many bridges that nobody will work with you.
Our banking consultant used to tell a story about an extremely successful builder (one of the largest in the country) he knew well. On his deathbed, the builder attributed almost all of his success to his willingness to leave some money on the table with every negotiation. He never felt compelled to get the upper hand. He not only had exceptional wealth, but also a very strong network of friends and family who loved and respected him.
In sharp contrast, we know many “hyper-aggressive negotiators” who live in a constant state of stress and distrust.
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