Well, I am back from my trip abroad and it was definitely an ADVENTURE.
The difference between the Greek Islands and Cairo, Egypt were huge. Seeing a country that is so culturally different to ours changes your perspective on so much.
There are so many stories but as my wife says 'You always relate everything back to business" so I let's talk about negotiating for a camel.
By the way, I don't totally agree with my wife about relating things back to business. But I do tend to always look for life lessons in many of the things I experience.....hey, I can't help it!
OK take a look at this camel.
How could I resist the opportunity to have a this camel take me through the desert to see the Pyramids?
Uh oh, here comes the hard part. The negotiation!
Actually, it is fun for me. But it can be difficult sometimes.
It always amazes me at the level of negotiators that I find when traveling. It is such a valuable skill that we don't spend any time on in our culture.
I have met grade school children that are better negotiators that some of the people I have done business with in the past. I am not knocking the business people, but because of many foreign cultures and economies, negotiation skills are the most important thing you can posses (and everyone does!!)
Here is my counterpart in this transaction. In this picture he is on a cellphone.
Yes we were in the middle of the desert negotiating over a camel and out comes a cellphone! I guess I shouldn't have been surprised but I was.
This turned out to be a long transaction so I won't be able to get into all the details, but there were three specific things that he did which really surprised me.
First, there was an up sell. I was presented with different levels of camels, rides, and tours. This is something that many big companies have trouble grasping. But this gentlemen realized that he can get more money out of each ride by offering premium options. Very Smart!
Second, he walked away at one point! That was new to me. Usually I am the one to walk away trying to create a sense of urgency. But he used some take away selling techniques.
We were going back and forth with offers and he decided to let me know that he didn't think it would work and wished me a good day and turned away with the camel! This is a good tactic. Most salespeople have serious trouble doing this because they think they just ended the sale.
But the natural human reaction when something is pulled away is to reach out for it. Usually you want it more now! It was the first time I had ever been in flea market type negotiations and had someone do that.
I may be giving him too much credit, but I truly think he knew what he was doing.
Third, he gave me a FREE BONUS. How many times have we been made this type of offer for magazine subscriptions, or at retail stores. ("But this thingy and get this other thingy Free")
He offered me a free taxi back to our hotel after the ride. It really made it appealing to me it wasn't a little statue it was something that I absolutely needed.
To be fair, the things that he did were only brought up after I was a bit hard headed on my end of things but hey, it paid off!
For the record, I ended up taking the top option that he offered because after all this I really liked the guy and the extra 7 Canadian dollars will probably benefit him much more that it would me.
And after all this, was I happy with my new favorite animal. Absolutely!
And look at the amazing things he took me to see!
So in this day alone I was able to knock off two things that I had always dreamed of doing; Riding a camel, and visiting the pyramids.
Plus I was able to play my favorite sport, Negotiating!
I couldn't ask for more.
- Nick Karadza