Damon has just been promoted to the program manager in his digital marketing agency. As program manager, he is responsible for working with vendors to provide services to his clients. One part of his job is to screen out potential vendors for clients and then make overall recommendations and provide project plans to the client based on his selected vendors. This relationship is important because the client places an immense amount of trust in the vendor choices made. Damon, with his straightforward communication style, is talented in picking and choosing the best vendors for the client, which was one reason he was hired. The nature of the job requires Damon to often meet with potential vendors and salespeople. One late afternoon, a vendor meeting with Valerie runs into dinnertime. Valerie asks Damon if he wants to have a drink and some appetizers while they continue discussing the services the vendor has to offer. They go next door to a pub and continue their discussion. When the check comes, Damon picks it up and the Valerie says, “No, you can’t pay for this. I got it.” Damon hands her the check and thanks her for dinner.
Later that week, after Damon has met with all possible vendors for the project, he decides to go with Valerie’s company. They provide the highest-quality services at the best price. In fact, their pricing is about 10 percent less while the services they will provide get rave reviews from other clients. Damon is confident it is the right choice. When Damon goes to the project manager with this decision, the project manager, Janet, says she prefers not to work with that vendor, then asks, “Didn’t Valerie take you to dinner the other night?”
Damon replies, “Yes, but that isn’t why I choose them to be our vendor for this project.” Janet doesn’t respond and turns back to her computer and asks Damon to explain why Valerie’s company is better.