How not to negotiate: lessons from a salesman who sold rain

Charlie the Rain King had much to teach about striking a deal

25 August 2019 - 00:01 By

I have spent most of this week negotiating a number of contracts with a number of different people, which is always an awkward business. I'm a tough cookie and talk a big game from afar, but when I sit down across the table from a bank of hard-baked killers unburdened with my nougat-layer of self-doubt and personal insecurity, I tend to crumple like a cake left out in the rain.

No, instead I rely on the decency and generosity of my adversaries, which you may think is a tenuous strategy, but I console myself by thinking about Charlie Hatfield. Charlie was a shrewd businessman, a hard-nosed negotiator, and above all he was a rainmaker...

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