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This story appears in the January 2004 issue of Entrepreneur. Subscribe »

Don't Do It
I enjoyed Barry Farber's piece on the mental edge for connecting with customers-current or prospective ("Sales Success," October). As a psychologist who has put to work on the competitive fields of sports and and taught at Dartmouth Medical School for over a decade, I would add one additional tip: Don't use don't!

Don't think about what time it is. Did you see a watch or a clock-digital or analog? The human mind is visual. Neuropsych journeys into its deep corners suggest we may not even process the word don't. Instead, we picture the words that follow its command. Don't look back-look ahead. The next time you hear your own inner voice admonishing you with the "don't" command, turn it around. Tell yourself what to do. The results will surprise you.

Pamela M. Brill, Ed.D.
Organizational Psychologist
In the Zone Inc. Peak
Performance Consulting Bedford, New Hampshire

Power Position
I couldn't agree more with Marc Diener's negotiating tips ("Real Deal," October). Coming into the with a "getting more out of life" attitude is one of the keys to success. Let me suggest two others.

First, go beyond simply "what they want" and "what we want"; spend some serious time preparing for the negotiations. Be explicit about their (and your) positions, the core gotta-haves. Then break down the deal itself into its various issues: warranty support, returns and credits, delivery time frame, use of existing facilities-whatever. Identify priorities (yours and theirs) and high priorities for them. This type of preparation is very rarely done, and those who do it come in with a distinct advantage.

Second, take a businesslike tone throughout the negotiations. You want a joint venture deal with your Chinese partner? Take a formal, even-tempered tone throughout the meetings-and the breaks! (This is often difficult for Americans, who often want to have a chummy relationship.) Don't agree to anything until everything is agreed.

Terry Elliott
Elliott Consulting
Lakeville, Minnesota

Think Local
Concerning "Made in ?" (October) by Joshua Kurlantzick, I agree. But when people are fired, we lose customers for American products, since unemployed people will not buy houses, automobiles, clothes-or if they do, they will keep things to a minimum. The U.S. manufacturing sector is shrinking, but we can control it. If, for instance, we purchase American automobiles, then we support the metals , the paint industry, the electronics industry (there are dozens and dozens of computer chips and circuitry in automobiles), the seat and seat cover and leather industries, and the plastics industry-all here in the United States. When we buy a foreign product, we are exporting jobs.

There's no reason why the United States can't compete with foreign manufacturers since we have the advantage of the robotics industry.

Many foreign products, such as automobiles, are not made in the United States but only assembled [here]. These are low-paying jobs. Certainly, some products are labor-intensive and cannot be made here. Certainly, American automobiles have improved, so for the past six or eight years, they have been among the finest in the world, with the lowest maintenance and repair records. It's time we become economic nationalists and purchase American products.

Dr. Yale J. Berry
Institute for Economic Nationalism Inc.
Brookline, Massachusetts

Corrections: Nevada Brake & Auto is the correct company name ("Smart Moves," November). Eduventures Inc. calculates that the for-profit education sector is worth more than $100 million, not $100 billion ("Private Partners," November).

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