You hear the decision has been delegate and you believe it is no longer necessary to get to higher levels of influence. It’s common for senior managers to delegate or set-up committees to determine project scope and select vendors. However, senior managers never delegate or give-away final approval. The term delegate basically means, “You do the legwork and report your finding back to me.”

Subordinates and committees are important and can not be ignored. However, they know full well they have to report their findings and recommendations upwards. Unfortunately, they certainly make you feel they are the ultimate decision-maker, and this situation has to be handled very delicately.

Always consider this; the committee was set-up by someone. Who was it? Where will the committee or the delegate report their findings? Committees and subordinates make recommendations to their bosses who in turn talk about it with other bosses. Most committees and subordinates have limited or no buying authority. Managers usually have authorization limits for capital and expenses, so consider the size of your project and where it fits in the approval hierarchy. Capital limits are much lower than expense limits. Budgets are only guides. The eventual expenditures need final approvals.

Expensive and/or important supplies, projects, etc. impact the company and the senior staffers. They want to know about any changes to the status quo and how their monies will be spent. They want to avoid anything that could hurt them. Therefore, the leaders get involved. Senior managers make it very clear that final decisions will not be made without their consent.

Bottom-line, upper level managers get involved, so never accept that the decision will be made by the committee or the delegated person. Always find out who each delegate or committee member reports to. The committee’s or delegate’s findings will be communicated directly to those senior managers. Wouldn’t it be advantageous if you were connected with the next level above each committee member? Think also of your competition. What if they get beyond the delegate or committee to the top people and make a favorable impression? What does that do to your chances?

Common Situation

You Hear a Committee’s Involved

A committee has been assigned the task of selection. In another scenario your contact tells you s/he has been empowered to scope the project and select the vendor. So, you hang at this level.

Resulting Problem

You’ll have limited access to information and influence.

You run crazy trying to satisfy the committee or you let your contact run with your ball. Who knows where s/he’ll go with it, if anyplace. You’ve had no exposure to the final decision maker because you’ve been stuck in the committee’s political mire. Each committee member has his or her own vested interest, his or her own boss (who has influence) and his or her own favorite supplier. Committee members play politics with each other. Each also has a limited path to the final authority. Eventually the committee makes a recommendation to someone who may or may not agree with the committee and decides for himself.

Check Yourself

Score: 4=Always; 3=Most Times; 2=Usually; 1=Sometimes; 0=Never.

1. When functional people tell you the decision has been delegated to them, do you believe they are the final decision maker? ____
2. When functional people tell you “Your proposal looks good.” do you feel you have the order? ____
3. Have you ever gotten an agreement from the committee, but the order never came through? ____
4. When you meet with a Senior Executive for a final presentation and he likes what you have, do you get his or her commitment that the order is yours and possibly a PO number to book it. _____


(3 + 4) – (1 + 2)

4 is good

3 or less means you need to work on this tough situation.

And now I invite you to learn more.

Just click this link NOW for more tips, strategies and Sam’s unique “Take’n It to the Streets” actions for handling committees - Tip 11-More Solutions to the Committee Obstacle

Author's Bio: 

Sam Manfer is an expert sales person, entertaining key note speaker and author of TAKE ME TO YOUR LEADER$, a book that gets C-Level and other influential decision-makers to meet with you and return voicemails. Sam makes it easy for any sales person to generate tons of quality leads, and become a 70% closer. Sign-Up for Sam’s FREE Advanced Sales Training Tips Ezine.

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