Monday, January 3, 2011

Some reasons Americans are bad negotiaters: former Laredoan's theories

Mexican Customs Inspector aka La Aduana

It turns out that a former Laredoan, Dr. Donald Hendon is a consultant that considers himself a "hired gun" when American companies try to make agreements with foreign nations. In Dr. Hendon's case, his specialty is in Asian trade. Nonetheless, he does mention his hometown of Laredo and the mordida as an integral part of bargaining. Dr. Hendon writes why he thinks Americans are poor at bargaining. He explains below:

Now, here is another reason why Americans are often poor negotiators:
We are too provincial, honest, informal—a multitude of sins - Most Americans haven’t traveled much outside the US—except to Canada, Mexico, and perhaps the Caribbean. So we’re provincial. We don’t know the “ways of the rest of the world.”

Also, we are so naively honest, we lay all our cards on the table first, thinking the foreigner will respond in kind. That happens very seldom. We even think bribery isn’t honest, although it’s an accepted way of life in many foreign nations. My home town is Laredo, Texas, which has more commercial truck traffic than any other border city. I’ve seen American truck drivers refuse to give a lousy $5 tip to Mexican customs officials to expedite the processing of papers. Why? “It’s against our company’s policy,” they tell me. The result? Customs officials hold up the shipment for several days in retaliation for not getting their mordida.
Hmm, who would've thought the mordida would be considered a plus in the world of negotiations.
Editor's note: above excerpt from the Mesquite, Tx. News.

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