Source | LinkedIn : By Purnima Menon
Just a few days ago some of us were chatting about different management styles, and some very real stories emerged.
A very senior leader who is a seasoned IT veteran and in his prime, was a terror for all his Sales teams. Sales reviews were brutal, and many an annihilation happened in front of our eyes..But that’s not really the story, because when you are a Sales leader thats what you do, to drive Sales!
Now one poor soul on his team had a very difficult client to sell to. The client would make him wait for days before a PO(Purchase Order) got signed, and months before he could see the light of any payment. And the DSOs (Days of Sales Outstanding i.e. payments) were mounting. Meanwhile his infuriated boss was practicing martial arts with his official Nunchaku threatening to throw our boy on it.
Month- ends came and went. Quarter ends were looming. And the boss graduated from Nunchakus to variety machetes that were displayed on his desk as doomsday prophecies. Our boy was desperate!
One day, for the nth time, he went up to the 10th floor of his client’s building and waited for the client to agree to pay him the outstandings. As usual the client dilly dallied, and asked him to meet him after a month!
Completely caught in a abyss of wretchedness, our boy climbed on to the ledge of the 10th floor and announced to the shocked client and all present
“If you don’t sign the cheque today I will jump off this floor and you shall be responsible for all consequences!”
Our client who by now was visibly shocked when he realized the boy would carry out his threats, actually bought the company cheque and signed the amount. Only after which, the boy climbed down and went back to office.
Of course client did not appreciate this untested approach(pun unintended) to deal making!
Many a times, when we deal with our partners and vendors, it is so important to put ourselves in their shoes and understand their challenges. We simply don’t know what they go through. Cash flow, KRAs, Internal commitments and Sales deadlines, are all an integral part of our lives, but what is critical is how we make others feel when dealing with them….
Especially people in positions of power over others, official or personal.
I empathized with this situation because , many years ago when I was in an Account management role, I had to collect a sum of USD 200k long outstanding. And my boss had clearly mandated no salary for me, should I not have that collected by the end of a certain day. The stress, the nervousness and the helplessness was all too obvious as I waited in the procurement office to collect that cheque. I was lucky then, the client did not delay it that day and gave me the amount without too much fuss.