Dealing with Sneaky People

Dealing with sneaky people

The saw and tool business is pretty well full of really nice, honest people who do business in a straightforward manner.  However there are a few you have to watch out for.

We just got a call from a competitor that is part of a multibillion, international, major corporation.  They are moving the part of the operation that competes with us and wanted to know if we wanted to do some work for them in case they need it.

We told them we would do the work for them but we think they just want our price list. This is an outfit that was our customer for years, made many visits to our plant and then set up their own operation.   

Last time we did work for them we couldn’t get their specifications for the work so we sent them our specifications. We did the work and they decided we didn’t do it right so they did not pay us. They did keep the parts and pass them on to their customer.

This is the second time this has happened to us in 30 years. It was two different companies but in both cases it was the same story. Quality control accepted our parts and then management decided they were not going to pay us because our parts were not good enough after all.

We have learned that there is just no point in even trying to do business with these people. In the first case, we tried being sneaky as well and we just were no good at it. No matter what we came up with, they had a sneaky way around it.

If you’re honest and somebody cheats you about the only thing you can do is quit doing business with them. If you don’t cheat people and they do then they’re better at it than you will ever be. If you try and play games with them, you will always lose.

It does aggravate me. I don’t like being cheated. I don’t like being beaten. I will compete head-to-head with anybody on quality and customer service and technology development. I keep thinking that I ought to be able to compete successfully with people in this kind of situation.  The truth is that deciding to be honest is an either/or situation. If you decide to be honest and straightforward and trust people then you open yourself up to being cheated. 

I really am glad that we chose the course of honesty and integrity and keeping our word and not playing stupid games for the sake of a couple bucks. But it still annoys me to get cheated.

Besides, Mr. Big Shot from Big Company held out the promise of sending a few dollars my way as though I were desperate for it.  That burns my butt too.

Okay.  Thanks for listening. I obviously needed to vent to someone.

I do think there is an incredibly important point here. If you are honest and straightforward in your dealings you will never win dealing with a crook.  Take the marbles you have left, put them back in your sack and go find an honest game.

2 Responses to “Dealing with Sneaky People”

  1. Terry says:

    I can relate. We are in apparel market and are known for our exceptional artwork and apparel styles. We have customers who sell our brand along with our compeitors as well as their own brand. We had. Meeting today with a big new customer how started selling our shirts about a month ago. In one day he sold 30 grand worth of our shirts on his high profile site. Asked to meet with us today, to see what we can do to keep these sales going. About 5 minutes it was clear all he was interested in finding out how, were nd how we make our shirts, our ost and how we come up with the styles and deigns. Like you being straight forward on honest I started to answer his questions. My sales girl gave me a kick to realize wht he was up to. Toward the end of the meeting he disclosed he is working on his own brand of clothing.
    My wife says there are no friends in business, in this case I think she is right

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