Choke Negotiations

My father had a steadfast principle for selecting who he’d do business with: there needed to be someone he could physically choke if it was warranted.

It’s not that he’d ever do such a thing (…I think). It’s the principle that in order to do business with someone, it’s a good idea to have:

  1. Proximity
  2. Identity
  3. Incentive

In order to do business, my father wanted to know that there was an identifiable person who was responsible for his business, that person was reachable, and that individual was personally incentivized to keep my dad happy.

Consider doing business with a company half a world away. You don’t have one specific account manager; you don’t know anyone’s name and individual transactions are handled by whoever picks up the phone. If you’re unhappy with something, no one individual is in danger of being written up or fired, and there’s nothing except their word to hold them accountable for fulfilling their promises.

Does this sound like an ideal business relationship to you? Would you feel confident doing business this way?

If you put all that together, having an identified “choke target” puts all that together. Hence, the general rule.

Keep it in mind. It’s not that you ever would go choke someone for screwing you over in business… but the threat sure keeps people honest!

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