Have you ever done a deal with a CEO where you’ve shaken hands, walked away thinking, “Hooray!”, only to find the next day that the deal has changed.
He wants a little more, you get a little less. You sigh, shrug, and shake hands again. Only to find the next day he wants a little more, you get a little less.
These people are not entrepreneurs. They are hagglers. They think they’re great negotiators because they can always squeeze their partners, but in reality the only reason they win is because the company they work for is so powerful.
They abuse the power (and brand) of their employer in order to screw partners and suppliers.
If that CEO had been running a startup he wouldn’t have survived. Why? Because haggling breaks trust. And without trust startups die.
There is a big difference between haggling and negotiating. The latter is essential for getting the best deal you can. The former is guaranteed to break trust.
Without trust you can’t move fast. If you can’t move fast, you’ll fail.
By all means, negotiate the best deal you can. But when you shake hands, stick to your word.
Haggling is for losers.
Also published on Medium.