Thursday, December 21, 2006


An unfamiliar number was flashing on my cell as I reached home from office in the evening.

Hello I answered the call but I didn’t receive any response from other side though I could hear a confident male voice talking to someone else on the phone other side. It appeared that this guy dialed my cell number and started talking to another person in his office. The caller didn’t seem to be in hurry to get back to me as he was sounding like he was sure that I would wait for him to start talking.

After few moments he spoke, “Mr. Praney?”

“Yeah!” I replied wondering who could he be.

“I am Rohan from M/s So & So’s office. I am in impression that you met my MD regarding your product. And also left a sample in my office?” He said.

“Oh Hi boss, how are you, what can I do for you?” I felt a positive wave of prospective business deal inside as he introduced himself to me. I recalled my visit to his office couple of months back.

“Ya fine Praney, I need some of your products, though we used to procure the same from New Delhi, but those guys are out of stock and I saw your business card in my office, so I thought of calling you, other wise I would have not. So tell me what can you offer me?” He said with a tone of authority and I am sure he must be having a raised eyebrow while throwing these words at me.

I felt little pushed. Is that guy really mean what he is saying? “Otherwise I would have not called?” To the hell with such guy, I thought for a second but immediately I controlled myself as I always try to be a cool headed businessman.

“Thanks for calling John, its Rs.3200 plus taxes per unit.” I said in a welcome tone with a smile on my face even though he could not see it.

“Plus taxes? But that day you said Rs.3200 including taxes.” He bluffed I knew. He was not even present there at the time of my meeting with his MD.

I replied very politely “No boss, it is surely Rs.3200 Plus 12.50% tax.” But he repeated himself more adamantly.

I said, “Very humbly I want to tell you boss, that I quote and mail above prices around ten times in a day and you I am sure, don’t deal in such products even twice a month. So you may get confused about the price but I certainly can not, so it is Rs 3200 Plus taxes.” My entire positive wave was vanished in the air by the time I was saying these words.

“Hmmm!” He was pointless at my statement but he had another ways to show his superiority complex over me. “Ok fine, but I want you to make it Rs3200 included taxes.” He demanded.

“Come one boss, taxes are 12.50%, how come I can bear 12% myself, do you think we have so much profit margins in these days of competition? Or are you asking me for the material without bill?” I was wondering.

“No, I need bill, what would be your input in such case, anybody can do that.” He didn’t even try to lessen the sharpness of his words.

“Then how it’s possible for me to reduce the price?” I said giving up.

“I don’t know anything, this you have to decide yourself how you do that, I need around 50 units immediately. We are very satisfied with our Delhi vendor but still I am asking you”

I didn’t know why he was telling me again and again about his unwillingness to call me, may be the institute from he got his MBA degree has taught him such way to negotiate.

“See boss, I don’t wanna loose this business and I would really appreciate any association with your company, that’s why I already quoted best offer to your MD. Trust me, we are already selling at same price even to the parties with the requirement of 200 Pcs in a shot. And we are offering you one year replacement guarantee. Our product is assembled with parts from world’s number one companies. Please don’t compare it with other brands. I can explain the differences if you can spare a minute” I made my last try as I was really very honest with that guy and trying enough to make him understand my view.

“No no, I don’t wanna go through technical things, just tell me can you offer me at Rs.3200 including taxes or no?”

‘Sorry boss, it’s impossible.” I had no other polite reply in my mind that time.

“Fine!” and he disconnected.

Why did that guy call me, what did he gain with such attitude. Or my attitude was wrong? Should I have reduced the price? But he wanted me to reduce 12% flatly and it was really not possible at all. I could have reduced 2 or 3% but that too would be a cheating with my other parties. And the way he sounded I am not sure he would have accepted that discount. Cause he was so happy with his Delhi guy.

I could not enjoy my dinner that night, don’t know why. Either it was due to the loss of a prospective client or 10 % profit which I could have earned by this deal or cause of my failure as a businessman to struck some deal.

Should I have satisfied myself saying, “Let him go, you can’t win them all?”

Or it was his failure to get something at his own terms??

Who gonna decide that??


Manish said...

That was his style of dealing which must have usually worked for him. I wouldn't call it negotiation because it was never meant to be that way. He was trying to be authoratative.

You did well to strike off such deal, and never mind you will get many :-)

Praney said...

May be you are right Manish but I wonder if such attitude could make any mare go.