Although I may be a Jersey Girl, I've been married to a die-hard, blood-runs-green-and-yellow, cheesehead-wearing Packer fan for 18 years in August. And I mean, hardcore fan. Just to illustrate my definition of "hardcore," here's a picture of my half bathroom:
So - needless to say, I know more about The Packers than most women - or most men, for that matter - outside the state of Wisconsin. And, as you can imagine, the topic of conversation / reading material / television viewing in my home the last several weeks has been non-stop Favregate. If you don't know what's going on with Brett Favre and his, I'm-retired-I-wanna-come-back-I'm-not-welcome-in-Green Bay-I-wanna-be-traded saga, you've either been under a rock, or you avoid sports news like the proverbial plague.
What, you may ask, does Brett Favre have to do with auto insurance and collision repair? Well, on the surface, nothing. But if you think about it, ol' #4 and the Packers head office are giving us a perfect example of how NOT to negotiate, whether you're the side holding the check (insurer), or the side with the talent (shop). Let's look at their faux pas, shall we?
Faux Pas #1: Succumbing to pressure, then whining about it later.
Brett told Greta van Sustern that he felt "pressured" to make a decision about retiring or staying back in March, which led to his decision to retire. He said he just couldn't commit to giving football 100% effort after just 90 days to reflect after the end of the season. Now that he's had more time to reflect, he CAN give 100% effort and wants to play. And Green Bay won't let him. OK - first, if you're the guy with the check, and a star talent, that has performed for you time and time again, says he can't commit, don't pressure him into committing. Kind of like a DRP situation. If a shop has the latitude to take jobs they can do and have the capacity to do, without worrying if one "no thanks" will get them dropped from the program, the quality of work stays high and cycle time stays low. If a shop feels pressured to take every DRP job referred to them, no matter how profitable or how it fits into their schedule, and then complains that they are being unfairly measured and have problems with profitability, both the insurer and the vehicle owner will suffer.
Faux Pas #2: Badmouthing the front office - and the talent - to the fans.
That Fox News interview will, I estimate, go down as the biggest gaffe Favre made in this whole thing. Rather than advocate for the team, praise the fans, and talk about what an honor it is to play in Green Bay, Favre blamed the front office for messing with his legacy, in the name of preserving it. In a more subdued way than an nationally televised interview, the front office turned around and let selective "truths" leak out about what really went down when Favre asked to come back, and tidbits about what a prima donna he is, with his own changing room, and his flip-flopping on retirement. What has that led to? Packer fan distrust of the front office, and a serious case of tarnish on Favre's bloom. Remember, insurers and shops alike, badmouthing the other party in front of your mutual customer will lead to a similar effect. Both policy holder retention and shop referrals could go bye-bye if you air your dirty laundry in public.
Faux Pas #3: Saying you want out, when you really don't.
Favre asked for his release. Then his agent said he wouldn't apply for reinstatement right away. Now he's issued a letter to the Packer front office requesting his release. Then he's calling their bluff and reporting to training camp. Which is it? Retired, or not? Wanna be a Packer, or don't? If you're part of DRP, and you don't want to be anymore, then drop the program. Don't stay a member of the program and complain about how horrible it is. If everyone who thought a particular DRP was horrible dropped out of it, maybe the DRP program would have to evolve into something more palatable. Insurers, if you have DRP shops telling you the program has flaws, listen. That's the cornerstone of a good partnership.
Faux Pas #4: Now it's a pissing match (as my grandmother used to say).
Does either the front office or Brett Favre really care about what they want anymore, or are they both just so hell-bent to win, it's like Thunderdome? Who wins a pissing match? As my grandmother also said, nobody - because both people get pissed on. If you've got a grievance, work in good faith with the other party to get it resolved. If you're out just to win, you won't.
As I write this, the Packers annual shareholder meeting is underway. While my husband, much to his dismay (and my relief) is not a shareholder, I'm sure to get a blow-by-blow of the shindig, thanks to the non-stop airing of ESPN in my living room. By September, it will be all ironed out, I'm willing to bet. And both sides are bound to lose, with this whacked-out circus they've created. Take my advice - don't join the circus. You'll have a good shot ending up as a clown if you do.