Monday, March 18, 2013

Are you exceeding your authority? Please beware

This is something based on my experience about a bad selling and exceeding on authority.

I am a very cost conscious person. Being cost conscious is not mean that you should be a miser. You should never compromise with the quality and set a standard for your organisation that below that standard you will not accept anything. I have always followed this principle and without compromising on the quality part, I have put efforts to save the cost. I have saved lakhs of Rs in various process for the same.

Well, this incident happened with me recently. I did not want to add high recruitment cost and was looking for an option which will save my recruitment cost. Somebody from an agency offered me something which could save almost 70% of my recruitment cost. The brand was reliable and the offer was that I will share job description of the position, they will call the candidate and screen them through their own database
And through head hunting and then they will send me resume for short listing. Once short listed they will line up 5 unique and sure shot candidate. We do not need to pay recruitment charge on percentage rather we will pay a lump sum fee of around 30000. Too tempting, right?
But be careful. The things which looks cheaper is always not cheaper. I was very cautious and asked the executive that :
1. If position does not get close at 5 interviews, he has to send the resumes and candidates till the position gets over.
2. I cannot pay anything in advance. First I need first lot of resume to see quality of the candidates then only I will sign the agreement and buy the recruitment solutions.
From day1 onwards I was very clear on my requirements and need as well as commercial terms.
The executive agreed too. Then he brought something invoice to me saying I need to sign on that as this is just the process and it does not make me obligatory to pay the amount. I cleared him that at later I do not wish to see my organisation and myself as a defaulter and I cannot sign such documents. He assured me that nothing such sort will happen as signing such document is just a process.
He took almost 3 weeks to send me resumes and it did not meet to the expectations. Half of the resumes were already in our database and rest were not suitable.
Then I pressed him to send me an agreement then only I can think about taking future services. I sent him the mail and informed clearly about the verbal discussion we had. I also reminded him that there is no financial obligation from our end. I repeatedly did it to make it clear in writing.
Suddenly today he appeared with his boss for meeting and I had nit fixed any appointment with him. I already had 2 meetings fixed which were very important and it was also not looking good that somebody has come and I did not meet him. I told them that I cannot spend more than 5 minutes.
To my surprise his boss asked me reason for payment in hold for more than a month. Then I informed him about the entire truth and background and how we are not liable. This executive had lied to his boss that we promised to release it in 3 days and not released the payment.

After hearing the entire thing he (the boss of the poor sales executive) accepted that it is not our fault.

This incident clearly relates to the title of this blog posting. It is a learning for every individual that nenver to exceed beyond one's authority. This sales executive did not have authority to take decision on transaction where financial matter was involved still he became manipulative and offered something beyond his authority. He should have at least informed his reporting head before taking such decisions. He would have helped him better but he did not prefer to do so for the reason best known to him. Actually for me, it is an example of bad selling. Since you want to sell something, you are being manipulative. This is really bad.

The cost of passing one's authority limit is always heavy. Please note :
1. Before committing anything please ask yourself the question: do you have authority to commit? If you do not have it, speak to your superior before taking any decision. Never act in the basis of assumption.
2. Whenever the matter is financial always check the authority. It makes thing worst. It may harm your career and you may even need to loose job too. If organisation has not given you authority to decide on financial matters, never take such decision. Escalate the matter immediately.
3. Whenever you sign a document, check whether you have authority to sign that. For instances , when I was heading HR department in my previous organization I had authority to sign most of the letter related to HR and administration and I was managing them independently and efficiently. However in my present organisation, it is very limited and not in the most of the cases. Nothing wrong in that. Every organisation has its own policy. Before signing any document I confirm with the management, do I have permission to sign it. It ensure that I am following my organisation's guideline properly.

Lesson to others
1. Never go by somebody's verbal promise or commitment. Keep everything in writing. As soon as you finish the meeting or discussion, immediately drop an email mentioning all the terms clearly and precisely. This will help you to prove your words later.
2. If you are not satisfied with somebody's offer, please make it clear and give the counter offer. Such thing makes your business deal clear and better.

Any question? Please post it here. It will be my pleasure to help and answer them.

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