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Family Business Decision Making Sales and Selling Manipulation Assertiveness Ethics

I report to the Chief Operating Officer, and I recently met with a salesperson who is his nephew. I thought the sales presentation was poor, and we do not need his products. I wrote a letter informing him of this. He then contacted his uncle who held a meeting with the three of us, and now his uncle wants me to start using his products. I believe this is a mistake. What should I do?

It is very nice that the Chief Operating Officer wants to help his nephew, but your company is not the place for him to play the role of the rich uncle. He should do this on his own time and on his own nickel.

Your first step is to conduct one more review of the proposed products, especially in terms of their costs and benefits. If you still find that these products are not worthwhile, you should meet with the COO and have a businesslike discussion about this matter. Set the family relationship aside and focus strictly on the products and their inability to contribute to the effectiveness of your department and the company at large.

If the COO still insists that you purchase these products, you have two options. The first is to give the products a try, followed by a thorough analysis to be given to the COO and his manager, presumably the Chief Executive Officer. The second option is take this matter to the Chief Executive Officer right now. If you look carefully at these two chiefs, you will know which option to select.

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