World Class Negotiation – Working Door-to-Door in the Global Village

Sydney, Australia was the destination. Quantas Flight AF008 (LAX to Sydney nonstop) was the particular flight. 58H was my seat assignment—in Economy? Yes, Economy happens.

I’d tried all my best techniques with the counter attendant but to no avail. Wearing a suit to appear the perfect upgrade candidate, smiling, commiserating with her obviously heavy workload, volunteering to move up to business or first class to help better distribute weight throughout the aircraft. Nothing worked.

No one gets what they want every time—Even Mr. Negotiator. However, the real lesson here is never give up.

While the obvious objective of an upgrade was not obtained, the seat between myself and the fellow next to me was however, blocked (unoccupied) by the counter attendant. And it was a full flight.

Every adversity offers an equal or greater opportunity! The reputation of this mantra helped me to accept my fate—Seat H, Row 58 in Economy.

Polite introductions were exchanged between myself and my fellow occupant (Bob) of Row 58 (Right side Economy on a 747-400 aircraft).

Through three meal services, two bar services, and four feature films, we became better acquainted.

It turns out Bob was a writer from The New York Times traveling through Sydney to Papua, New Guinea. His assignment was to write an article on travel and leisure.

By exchanging information and references, Bob and I made a great deal on our (LawTalk is our company) new legal lifestyle magazine. In return, I provided him with suggestions on how to navigate through Customs and Immigration in Sydney, and what sights to see before he traveled north to the jungle.

We negotiate everyday. And, we never know when the use of our give-and-take talents will result in an unforeseen long term benefit.

The Southern Cross Hotel in Sydney is a great place. The staff at the Southern Cross is so congenial that I choose to stay there each time I travel to Sydney.

“This is a suite, isn’t it?”

I received a suite for the same price as a regular room.

Always ask for an upgrade when you book your hotel reservation and again when you check in.

After a week of heavy negotiation on several business deals, it was time to go home. Seat 58H was bad enough. On my return flight, I convinced the counter attendant to allocate me seat 48H (Bulkhead exit row). More leg room! (I thought.) Unfortunately, 48H is also the area where people congregate waiting for an opportunity to use the bathroom. “Be careful what you ask for because you just might get it!” was my new mantra.

Remember, world-class negotiation techniques are powerful tools but we should always keep in mind that we use these techniques door-to-door—one person at a time.

John Patrick Dolan, Attorney at Law, Certified Specialist Criminal Law, CSP, CPAE is a recognized expert in the field of negotiation. He travels throughout the world presenting lively keynote speeches and in-depth training programs for business and legal professionals. Call 1-800-859-0888 for more information.


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