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  • Diana Schneidman

How I would negotiate with Donald Trump

When Donald Trump talks about his negotiations with suppliers of business services and products, I, as a freelance writer, identify with the party on the opposite side of the table from The Donald.

If he negotiates as fiercely as he claims to, I would never consider working with him.

To be honest, I’ve never had the opportunity to turn down a Trump company. I’m far too small-potatoes for them. Which is fine with me.

A fundamental goal in negotiations is win-win. Except with Trump.

Trump claims to be committed to his winning, everyone else losing.

Apparently businesspeople are so turned on by the idea of getting into something h-u-g-e that they will accede to dreadful terms to get in on a really big deal.

In the real world, I’d guess that the bigger the risk, the more cautious and astute the other party is. If the deal involves hiring labor and / or purchasing product, the potential for financial loss is especially frightening.

Sure, no one would sign a contract with Trump without running it by an attorney and perhaps an accountant as well.

Still, he has such access to legal support that it would be darned hard to enforce the contract and even harder to collect. His personal assets are so isolated from his business entities that all I can say is “Good luck.”

And if he isn’t pleased with what he has received to his own internal criteria, he simply doesn’t have to pay, Trump apparently thinks.

Actually, I think much of what Trump is saying is poppycock. As a businessperson, he couldn’t function successfully in the long run with his I-win-you-lose approach.

Win-lose is not a sustainable business model; win-win is because both parties profit and are open to doing business together again.

Business organizations benefit from ongoing relationships. Any party having a miserable experience won’t be back again. Actually, if this experience forces them into bankruptcy, for sure they won’t be back.

In the real world, a mighty second generation / third generation enterprise benefits from long-term ties to suppliers.

The only reasonable way to have a business agreement with Trump as he presents himself to the public is to require full payment up front. If he’s not happy, let him try to get the money back. Put the burden on him.

I’d love to know how Kellyanne Conway is getting paid. She’s a smart cookie. Bet she got a huge advance. Right now Trump is saying everyone outside his campaign is crooked. If he loses, he may try to add her to the list of people who have harmed him.

Originally posted 10-17-16

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