I receive Zig’s newsletters everyday and I picked this nice anecdote on what’s best in negotiation. Read on –
Virtually everything involves some sales or negotiation skills. Negotiations are easier if we come from a position of power – having complete confidence in our product. It’s also nice to have an “ace in the hole” (a persuasive bargaining chip) that enables us to influence the other party in a positive way.
I love this story told about a negotiation that transpired between France and Japan. When the Renault cars manufactured in France were sent to Japan, the Japanese required each car to be individually inspected. On the other hand, the French allowed Japanese cars into their country on the basis of type inspection, where one vehicle picked at random represented all others of the same make. Needless to say, this was not an equitable arrangement.
French President Francois Mitterand did not register a complaint. Instead, he ordered that all Japanese VCRs be inspected one at a time. He also insisted that VCRs be imported through one port in Southern France. The port was manned by two slow-moving customs inspectors who were assigned to conduct thorough inspections of the tens of thousands of Japanese VCRs that were quickly piling up on the dock. It wasn’t long before the Japanese government understood that the walls they had built and the counter-walls the French had built were costing the citizens of both countries a lot of time and money. After a brief negotiation, the Renault cars began to roll into Japan at a faster pace and the VCRs resumed their normal import pace into France.
As nearly as I can tell, there was no threatening or media hoopla of any kind. The French quietly took their stand and the Japanese quickly made the change. The negotiations were skillful, resulting in a win for both sides. Remember this basic lesson in life: If you can arrange any transaction or any agreement so that both sides win, the long-range best interests of both will be served. Take that approach and I’ll SEE YOU AT THE TOP!
Posted by Digvijay “VJ” Singh Rathore