1. The art of gentle negotiation

The power of local connect and support




It was day 2 of the demonetisation drive in namma Bengaluru, Karnataka, India, on 10th November 2016. As you may remember, it was a time when common people were strapped for cash, and change in small denominations suddenly became scarce for small payments.

I, the Courseloka founder, went to my neighbourhood store, just 30 meters away. What I witnessed astounded me and the grocer won my trust.

I saw a South Indian customer asking for a milk packet costing Rs 17 with a new Rs 2,000 note on the counter. The shopkeeper and I were both speechless at the amount of change asked for, Rs 1,983 to be precise.

The shopkeeper put the milk packet on the counter, and for 30 seconds, they both looked at each other, kindly, eye to eye, without speaking a word. Then, the shopkeeper pushed the milk packet towards the customer and said “Pay later”. The customer took the milk, his Rs 2,000 note and walked away. 

The shopkeeper did not take out a book and note the credit sale, customer’s name, his mobile number, or ask any questions. It was a trusting and empathetic gesture.

This is the power of local connect. Learn the local language (Kannada in this case), make the connect with people around where you live, like neighbours, shopkeepers, maids, and service providers, as they can support and help you when you need it.

Author: Rekha Chandu Lal


Last modified: Sunday, 7 October 2018, 7:02 PM