Daniela Sima –
Thomas Hobson (1544 – 1631) was a horse owner near Cambridge University. He owned a stable of 50 horses that he rented to Cambridge students. However, the rental policy was an original one: the only horse you could rent was the one from the first door station or … none. This rule stemmed from Hobson’s love for his horses. He had developed a very efficient system of rotating horses, placing the tired ones behind and the rested in front. Thus, the one who wanted to rent a horse had ONLY ONE CHOICE! Or in other words: either you take what is offered to you or nothing!
The most famous application of Mr. Hobson’s technique dates from 1909, when Henry Ford, the founder of Ford Motor Company, stated:
“Any customer who wants a car can have it in any color, as long as it is black,” said Henry Ford at the launch of the FORD Model T. In reality, at first, the car was available in a wide variety of colors, but in 1922, in Henry Ford’s autobiography, it was revealed that due to the cost reduction policy, a type of paint was used, that dried very quickly but was only available in the black color!
You may have never heard of “Hobson’s Choice”, but you have certainly heard at least one “Take it or leave it” in a meeting with a Buyer. In the negotiation process it is a technique often used in the last closing phase, when all the arguments have been exhausted, yet the other side is not convinced and you do not have time! Then, perhaps, one of the few effective options that remain available is to give ultimatums.
If you want to know more about the process of negotiation, strategies and techniques, we are waiting for you at the Key Account Management course from November 20-21, 2017 in Bucharest. In other words, Hobson’s Choice means not being offered real options of choice. It means you have to take what is offered to you or take nothing.