The Car Salesman takes your offer to the “Manager” . . .
and returns with a counter offer scribbled on a napkin.
My inclination is to erase the front man and let me negotiate directly with the Manager.
They won’t change their way and allow this, though, because in their way, no one has to take responsibility for anything.
When there’s blame to go around for losing the customer without getting the deal, it must be because “the buyer just wasn’t serious.”
In sales, it’s critical to know who the decision maker is BEFORE entering a negotiation lest you fall into this vortex of investing lots of time and energy only to discover it’s all for naught because the person your talking to isn’t authorized to complete the terms of the deal.
This dynamic also plays out in organizations which are governed by a “Board of Directors.” they hire a CEO to administer execution of the business plan . . . to oversee operations, but give her near zero power to make any decisions independent of “Board Approval” . . . again, no accountability.
Invariably, the first/primary concern is the bottom line of the “Business Side” of the organization . . . How will this decision mesh with the goals of financial profitability of the organization?
The Business side generally has minimal regard for the principles and ethics of the human side of the organization. This works fine until it doesn’t. Before long, there are enough disgruntled former customers to create enough of a stir that profitability wanes . . . but, of course, because there’s no accountability, everyone can blame someone else or “outside influencers”
I recently had an extremely frustrating experience with a well respected educational organization (school). A perfectly reasonable request resulted in a 6 week email “negotiation” with the Principal (CEO) and the CFO who were so shackled by the Board of Directors, they could not even respond to ANY email without first consulting with an assemblage of Board members.
A matter that could and SHOULD have been resolved in the matter of days took 6 weeks with a preposterous decision by the Board.
I am deeply disappointed in the manner in which this thing played out . . . It was a huge disservice to the one person who matters the most – The Customer (in this case, the student)!
I wonder sometimes if “Corporate Structure” dehumanizes organizations . . . That the Principal/CEO couldn’t make this this decision without engaging the Board. I’ve served on many Boards, and I know how they operate. They often lack compassion for no other reason than not wanting to “set a precedence” of deviating from policy. I get that as being an important dynamic of protecting the bottom line but not as a tool to neutralize humanity.
(hops off his soap box)