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The Customer Trap: How to Avoid the Biggest Mistake in Business by Andrew R. Thomas, Timothy J. Wilkinson

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CHAPTER 9

Going Global and Keeping the Faith

The art of leadership is saying “no,” not “yes.” It is very easy to say “yes.”

—Tony Blair

A few years back, a US firm that had a partnership in China manufacturing motorcycles went looking for new customers in Central America. Previously, the US firm had been relatively successful in South America and Africa, finding distributors for its line of basic transportation motorcycles. With an engine design based on a Honda model, the Chinese motorcycles were proven to be of acceptable quality and reliability. Most important, they were a lot cheaper—about half the cost of the competing Japanese models.1

The entry point in Central America was Cost Rica, which, along with Panama, was the most prosperous ...

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