This weekend we bought a car. We could not find the one that we wanted at the dealership so he called around until he found us exactly what we wanted and then introduced us to that dealership.

Now that is service. As an aside, making a car purchase using Google translate on my iPhone was surprisingly effective although I found the one phrase the dealer did know in English rather frustrating:

“No discount. Company policy. One price”

So much for negotiating (smile).

During our travels from dealer to dealer (car shopping is not high on my “fun” list), we happened across this dealer who restores old Minis. I don’t know who would every buy one (they look cramped), but they were refinished perfectly – spectacular looking cars. He had 30 on the showroom floor. The right car for the tight Tokyo laneways.

2012-08-05 16.08.45

2012-08-05 16.08.18



I have been cataloguing a few old folders over the past month and came across the photo below. It is the photo of a whiteboard from one of the largest deal negotiations that I have been involved in over the last decade (9 figures). The negotiation team that we were working ‘with’ on the other side consisted of some of the most professional negotiators I have ever had the pleasure to deal with. During the 6 week negotiation, I learned a lot from them thanks to a very observant teammate.

Negotiation Board Whited Out

That board was a 3 hour internal dialogue to prepare me for a 30 minute phone conversation. We role played out the conversation, areas where the conversation would go, objections that would come up, rat holes to be avoided and where to stand firm.

In the end, both parties were happy with the outcome, but it was tough and the experience reaffirmed my motto of practice, practice, practice. Whether doing a presentation, meeting a client for the first time, running a negotiation, practice and preparation pay.

I need to Photoshop this photo and clean it up a bit, it deserves a good frame.