Tuesday, July 19, 2005

Trump Kup?

Donald Trump has his goals cut out for himself. He believes he has true power. Does what he say have any basis in Jewish Thought?

Trump Newsletter

Power and Persuasion: the Elements of Negotiation

Negotiation is something I refer to often because it is an important aspect of business and life. It’s a form of accommodation, adjustment, and diplomacy. It can be a complex procedure, but it doesn’t have to be daunting if you take the time to think and apply a little finesse to your technique.

Business people see me as a master negotiator because I usually wind up with what I am aiming to get. In other words, I negotiate to win and then I win. Pretty simple from the outside looking in, but I can tell you that I spend time preparing for any negotiation.

The first step is to know exactly what you want. You have to be clear about your own goals. The second step is to know what the other side wants. Give that some thought. Whether you’re in baseball or in business, you’ve got to know the strengths and weaknesses of your opponents in order to deal with them effectively. No two teams are exactly the same, and no two companies or organizations are exactly the same. Don’t rely on generalizations. Find out for yourself.

When I was hoping to acquire 40 Wall Street, I learned as much as I could about the Hinneberg family, who owned the building. All the prior leaseholders had dealt with the Hinneberg family's agent, but I wanted to know the Hinnebergs myself to figure out what they wanted. If you want the truth, go to the source. So I flew to Germany and met them. I told them I would turn the property into a first class office building, which I have done. I watched that property carefully for decades, and I took care of the negotiations for it carefully. It has paid off, and we all won.

Which brings us to my basic philosophy of how deals are done. It’s about persuasion, not power. That’s diplomacy at its best because power is the ability to convince people to accept your ideas. Power isn’t just about calling all the shots—it’s about ability. You don’t want people to accept your ideas because you’ve bulldozed them into accepting them. That’s a recipe for disaster. Instead, let them think the decision is theirs—it will give them a sense of power and control as well. Present your ideas in a way that will not intimidate them.

I remember a deal I was interested in doing, and the person I was dealing with was from a prominent family. I knew his name, and I had a certain mindset about him before I met him. I had formulated a plan in my mind. When I met the guy, I was surprised to find out how insecure and unassuming he was, not at all a powerhouse type, so I had to immediately change my plan. I had to find a way to bolster his esteem enough to get him into the negotiating arena since I could tell he would be the type to walk away just to avoid confrontation of any sort. I gained his confidence by building up his confidence enough to deal with me. Sometimes you have to play psychologist, or be a bit of a chameleon to figure out the best approach.

Sometimes you have to be stubborn. Being stubborn can be a good thing, when it comes to something you want. I waited close to thirty years to see development start on a property I had bought in the 1970’s. I watched 40 Wall Street for decades as well. While it appears that I move forward quickly, there’s a lot of background work involved that people don’t see. You will also find out there are times when you have to change your mind, which can be a positive thing. Don’t be confined by your expectations—remain open as well as focused.


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