Monday, October 01, 2007

Dealing with Ze Tchermans

The Biogeneticist and I have been dealing with a German, who wanted to buy something of ours ( not parts of me I hasten to add).
Now we all know about Tcherman efficiency. I haven't seen it in action since about 1965.
But boy, have they got their act together ( at least this one did).
He told us exactly what he wanted, exactly what he would pay for it, exactly how he wanted to pay for it and with what documentation.
Now apart from all this being nice and easy to deal with, it also makes him a complete rubbish negotiator.
As every trader knows, you have to get the other side to tell you a price first. And never give a reasonable figure if you want to eventually end up with your shirt intact. And leave everything hanging so that there are bits to negotiate to win a bit more for yourself, or longer to pay, or anything.
He didn't. We asked him to propose a price and he offered us about twice what we had in mind as a final figure.
So we trebled it and came down a bit, saying he had been sensible & reasonable. He promptly agreed to the price we suggested, especially if we could be a little flexible.
I mean, is that a negotiation? I was quite disgusted with the capitulation, and almost felt like giving him a lesson in how it ought to be done.
So we ended up with nearly five ( yes five) times what we wanted.
What a let down.

5 comments:

In Actual Fact said...

Well, your majesty, the very fact that I was prepared to accept only 3.5x our original asking price shows why you're the one doing the negotiating and why I just make the special viruses for those pleasant Persian gentlemen.....

Winchester whisperer said...

Run with your luck KL

kinglear said...

ww - but what about the thrill, the savage glee of the chase?

Winchester whisperer said...

Don't forget the Chinese curse: "May you live in interesting times."

In Actual Fact said...

WW: Wasn't that ancient Chinese curse actually invented by Bobby Kennedy, or was it Robert McNamara? Link.