There are times you might need to break the chain of command to get to the person who can make a major purchase of your products. Your successful sale may make your first contact resentful.
It still behooves you to befriend that first person, because he or she could still play an important role in your relationship with that company. Letting a person save face after you’ve gone over their head—and won—can play a major role in how smoothly your relationship with this new client or customer will proceed. The next time you see or talk to her, thank her for her help or contribution in your obtaining the sale.
“Frank, I really appreciate your help,” or, “Mary, thank you for your support. I look forward to working with you over the next few months.” That’s all you need to say.
I know, she had absolutely nothing to do with it. You’re right. She knows that. You know that. And she knows that you know that. By letting her save face, however, you are showing your class, protecting her ego, and giving her good reason to work harder to help you from that point on.
In my experience, that person will be on your side with loyalty that’s truly an asset.
The only instance in which this will not work is if the person is so ego-based and angry that they are looking to be and stay mad at you. If he is irrational and totally offended by your actions, he probably won’t come over to your side—at least not right away. You’ll just have to make sure your other relationships within that organization are even stronger so there’s no way sabotage can come into play.
Usually, however, that will not be a challenge. Letting that person save face after you’ve gone over their head will generally bring them over to your side.
Have you ever experienced something similar? What was the result?