January 16, 2009

Business I (nearly) lost

I have a few businesses which I lost along the year due to many reasons. Either there are other lawyers who have beaten me to the punch or a connected person suddenly have an idea to steal a project which was promised to me. Recently, I have the most significant moment in my career when one of my business friend whom I have done quite a few business deal with has suddenly decide I am not 'brave' enough to do his work.

I was with him on Tuesday this week as we were settling a few business transactions at his part of town. Suddenly, he turned to me and asked "Why did you refuse to do the job for the housing development I am doing?". I was flabbergasted but control myself and ask him back simply "Huh?". He then explained that the person who is entrusted to manage his project told him that I am not willing to flout the law a little by doing any Sale & Purchase Agreement before his company got the developer's license. When I ask him why he allowed it although he did say once (when his profession was another) that he will never do such a thing, he said subtlely that sometimes you have to bend the law to make money. Then he said, all this is handled and managed by that particular project manager (as I know him quite well, that was his cue of not wanting to talk about it, no matter what)

So, before we parted that day I conveyed the message that we are still interested in doing the job provided that it is done accordingly and within the law. I also told him I am going to have a talk with all the concern parties and I hope he won't shoot down any suggestion of me asserting myself on everbody else. He did not reply so I take it as an assent. As a former politician, he knows that as long as he does not commit himself, he can't be held accountable for whatever happens.

I went to work upon arriving at the office by calling my friend's son who was left to be the director of the development company. He is younger than me but I mined as much information as I can and got to know that they have at least four confirmed bookings for the properties they are selling. I ask him to make sure that the person who have start this whole backstabbing saga knows that I want in, still, but only after they have a license. For now, I won't be held accountable if something goes wrong. Then I called my friend's brother who is a big time contractor who knows most of the stories in his brother's company. Again, it was alleged that I don't want the job as I was never present in any of their meeting. I rectify all the information with him and ask him to stand back me up if I needed him. I owe both of them, the son and a brother, a drink, one of this day, as promised.

Then I worked on the outsiders. I called up the said project manager who did not answer and then send him an SMS, both which he did not answer. The next morning on Wednesday, I called and called the project manager handphone. He did not answer. I also called the bank officer of the bank I know they were planning on using as their end-financier for their development. I talked to her setting an appointment but she let slip that she was willing to process loans given by developer which has not any license yet. Then it hit me. It was her all along. She was the one who suggested this whole idea and the project manager was also in cahoot. At exactly 1 o'clock, the project manager answered and we talked. I beat around the bush asking him whether he will still honour his promise to pass me cases and he committed. He also kept on saying he would not sell any house without a proper license.

I know that I have covered all the bases but I would be meeting my friend on Saturday as we are going to meet one of his tenant who pays his rent through my office. During lunch I will make sure he commits to my firm again. This time I will do it with my partner.

Who says marketing is easy?


syikin said...

tough time u had there. i know how u felt.. amazing what some 'trusted' associates can do to you.

kruel74 said...

Just got a call just now from the son who say my firm will get it. Alhamdulillah. All businesses have challenges

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