Construction Cost & Project Management

When “No” Became “Yes”

June 27, 2019

Post by Andy Bayley

There are business lessons to be learned in the most unexpected places!

We were on the third day of our holiday in Barbados, relaxing on the beach, when a young local man approached us touting for business. His goal was to persuade us to part with a considerable wodge of currency for a ride on his jet ski. At a rate of 70BDS a pop (about £27) we weren’t keen – that’s the QS in me; he was actually the 5th person to approach us that day and Charlotte my eldest gave him short shrift. “We’re not interested thank you.”

At that point his body language turned a little aggressive and I feared things might get testy. I tried to diffuse the situation, engaged in some general chit-chat and we began to find common ground. Half an hour later we parted company. He left without our business but on friendly terms and over the next few days every time he came back to our stretch of beach he made a point of chatting to us.

His persistence paid off; by the end of the holiday he’d managed to get Charlotte on a jet ski. Unfortunately, the weather was bad for her maiden voyage but he returned on a subsequent day to give her a free go, and the experience he wanted her to have.

One of things we talk a lot about at Poole Dick is the importance of building a relationship. When it’s just about the short-term transaction it’s rather cold and inhuman. But when you extend the conversation and find common ground, when you listen and discover what the other party really wants, you pave the way for a more productive relationship.