Huzzah, something good to write about for a change. The chance has finally arisen to meet the buyers. No, it’s not a chance to take along the poison-tipped umbrella in order to surreptitiously jab the people who you know do not favour your solution in the leg and thus render them a drooling fool, but it’s more a chance to get to know who is buying your stuff and to grab an opportunity to put across your genuine unique selling point.
It’s a time to start forming business relationships because the preference for people to do business with people that they like is inherent and this is a great place to start. I’m talking of course about the government's 'get to know your buyer' coffee and biscuits morning to be held in Wellington on May 9.
It’s a great idea, as long as your solution is the cheapest of course. It’s an idea that has been mentioned in a previous On Tender column. But we’re not taking the credit, although it would be nice to roll around in some piles of self gratification for few minutes.
Maybe the arm of government does read the business press, and maybe they do really take note of what’s being said in the columns of industry mags such as this one. Nah, don’t be daft... Sorry that was a foolish trip down a path where the journalistic ego has once again rediscovered that foolish notion that journalism actually makes a difference and the Truth will always out, the Fourth Estate shall always float to the surface above the mire of lies and falsehoods perpetuated to enslave our very existence. There I go again.
Anyway, we’re all off to Wellington for to meet our buyers. These are the people who will shape our future and determine whether we can send our darling cherubs to a private school, (no doubt serviced with Apple’s glowing computer power) with swimming pools that get cleaned and netball court that actually have hoops at both ends, or send the little blood sucking leaches to the school that smells funny and has lots of metal detectors.
Should we be taking plain manila envelopes stuffed with used bills of mixed denominations?
Well the fact that you get a laugh out of this comment is testament to the honest way Kiwis do things. We may not be as transparent as we’d like to be but we’re nowhere near as corrupt as our often rivalled counterparts over there in Australialand, the Pacific Islands, America, Europe or for that matter the rest of the world. It’s not that NZ is squeaky clean, (we certainly have our fair share of nepotism and cronyism, but it’s nowhere near levels experienced elsewhere on our blue planet.
For example: I once worked with some Russian people here in NZ who insisted the person who got us the job, who was also Russian, got a kick back of ten per cent. “It’s ze way we do sings,” my new Russkie friend explained to me. Indeed from my old country of Engerland I can say that I often had to oil the wheels of industry just to get people to do what they were already being paid to do by their bona fide employers. Such as pay the rubbish collectors to pick up the rubbish.
Suffice to say that the meeting of buyers and sellers on May 9 will be more about creating friendships, acquaintances and finally having the chance to put your business case forward in an informal manner that is so rare in this world. Can you imagine this sort of thing going down in Italy? There would either be guns blazing by 3.30pm or some sort of sordidly fantastic after-party with girls called Gigi and midgets on roller skates carrying small silver trays of Class A drugs, “Only da best for my honoured guests.”
So we should really pat ourselves on our backs and say "good on you Kiwis for not being as corrupt and greedy as the rest of the world." We can finally take pride in our inherent honesty and our abhorrent view of people who try to take shortcuts. Just try ducking in the queue of just about anywhere in NZ and you’ll be met with a broadside of abuse fit to repel the fiercest onslaught. As a rule Kiwis don’t like queue-jumpers and jokers offering bribes will always be treated with disdain in this country. And remember if you can’t beat the Cronies, join them.