My father was not just a super salesman, he was an astute businessman as well, besides being very perceptive. He could pretty much read the mind of the person facing him.
We had started a small factory manufacturing insulated wires, which my brother was managing. We had obtained a license to purchase some machinery for the same. I was in Berlin at that time and was asked to check out on a firm that had shown interest in supplying the machinery. It was headed by a lady who had just lost her husband, the original founder, the previous year. Back then, Germany was fast building up after the Great War and needed all the export orders they could get. The Indian Rupee was very strong – 88 paisa to a German Mark! My father came to Germany for the negotiations and gave his final offer, which was not acceptable to the Finance Manager of that company. The lady’s face fell and negotiations broke down. On the day of his departure, he was escorted to the airport by the lady and her Finance Manager. As they sat in the lounge, the lady of course very distraught, my father suddenly pulled out the blank contract, signed on dotted line and asked the lady to put any price she thought fit. She was totally overcome by this gesture and put the same price that my father had originally suggested! He was absolutely certain in his mind that she would not put any other!
So started a business association – which eventually grew into a family relationship – that culminated in many more orders to our mutual benefit. Finally, I am happy to say that those machines purchased in 1954 are still in service!