I work with a company that includes two pages of rules on every quote they produce. The rules deal with freight issues, payment problems, money expectations, and warranties. Often the rule page is longer then the quote. Every time we send out a quote, I cringe waiting for the customer to call and complain about the huge amount of fine print.

What's really amusing is the company doesn't follow the rules they write. Just like all of us, they adapt the sale to please the customer and make the sale. Fortunately, no one reads the fine print, like the agreement on your Adobe Flash Player, we just sign and move on.

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Recently, I met with a salesperson who had just been let go from her new job. After 20 years in the industry, she was hired by her competitor. The competitor agreed to her terms and gave her a great signing bonus, but when they found out that 26 years previously, she had never finished college, they had to let her go. The company rule was all employees must have graduated from college. It didn't matter what they graduated in, Home Economics, Film History, or Phy Ed. No degree, no job. She has since moved to another factory and is making it a personal goal to drive the competitor's business into the ground.

We often set rules after we have had one bad experience. We assume that by setting the rule, we have limited our future exposure to the same problem. What we forget is that rule breakers never read our manuals. Just like a No Smoking sign in a high school bathroom, the rule breakers smoke anyway.

Like our two pages of rules with a quote, or our foolish hiring practices, we turn away those talented good employees, and customers by establishing policies that create roadblocks to growth.

Take a look at your own sales policies, customer warranties, and hiring practices. Eliminate roadblocks to service and you will see more sales.

Good hunting.


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