Subject: stupid customer tricks
From: Tom Lord <>
Date: Mon, 4 Mar 2002 02:41:15 -0800 (PST)

One of my favorite tricks played by big customers happens when a
vendor sends them sales or sales support staff who presume that the
customer is an idiot.  What seems to happen is that the decision maker
on the customer side can't attend the meeting or stay for the entire
meeting.  They leave the obnoxious sales staff with some of the local
deadwood who confirm the sales staff preconceptions that the customer
is an idiot while saving the actual decision maker quite a bit of
time.  It's taboo to mention this pattern, except for two facts:
First, I think it's safe -- neither party in these pointless meeting
is likely to recognize themselves in the description.  Second, it
isn't an error free pattern and by mentioning it explicitly I can
encourage my FSB friends to keep a high standard in sales meetings: if
you get stuck talking to deadwood, at least give them a competent
message to carry back to the real decision makers and maybe the next
meeting will go better.