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Following Policy? Or only trying to stay in your familiar zone?

We’ve all had the experience of being frustrated by a store clerk, a government employee or you name it, at that individual hiding behind the phrase “I’m sorry, but that’s our policy”. Is the individual lazy, are they afraid to use their brain or just plain frightened to use common sense?

There are times when I’m absolutely “blown away” by the rigidity, inflexibility and the fixation to “policy” by some people. Policy is only a guide. It’s not something written in stone that must always be followed! There are times to use good judgment!

My names’ Bob Crow. I’m a behavioral therapist board certified in clinical and medical hypnosis. My practice is in Atlanta Georgia at the Atlanta Center for Behavioral Change.

Case in point. My brother-in-law is on temporary assignment in Arizona. He wanted my wife and I to get the ball rolling for him to buy a house in metro Atlanta. I called an agent my wife knew. My wife had seen a family member of this agent for sales performance, and that family member had also attended our The 10% Edge Seminar. We knew that the husband was in real estate sales, so I called him and gave him a good lead, my brother-in-law! I explained that my brother-in-law had asked us to do some of the leg work before he made a trip back to Atlanta. The agent called my brother-in-law and got the price range and other parameters on the house. Now keep in mind the agent knew my wife and I. We gave him a good lead with no strings attached.

My brother-in-law started the mortgage process, but wanted us to check out some of the houses in advance of him returning to Atlanta to see them for himself. So far so good.

The agent emailed us several houses and we called him back and said that my brother-in-law wanted us to look at the houses before he flew back to Atlanta from Arizona. At this point, sufficient time hadn’t passed (four days) for my brother-in-law to get approved for a mortgage. Are you with me so far?

I called the agent and told him that there was a small window of time on Monday when my wife and I both, weren’t seeing patients or lecturing at Atlanta Hospitals – very rare. I told him we wanted to see four houses. This real estate agent knew that we weren’t buyers of dubious qualification wanting to buy a house that we weren’t qualified to buy, but were well respected behavioral therapists with full time practices. We gave him a well qualified lead, but he absolutely refused to give us the courtesy of letting us preview any houses for my brother-in-law until he was pre approved for a mortgage! Incredible! We didn’t ask him to write a contract, we just wanted to make sure that we were all on the same page.

The agent works for himself, makes his own rules and doesn’t need anyone else’s permission to show us a house without the buyer being approved for a loan first. He told us that it was his policy to not show a house without loan approval first. He wouldn’t budge. He was rigid. We weren’t unknowns asking him to spend weeks showing us houses. He didn’t appreciate the fact that we gave him a customer that he didn’t have to do anything to get. A buyer that he wouldn’t have had without us. We could have given the lead to anyone, but we gave it to him.

There was nothing that I could say. No amount of logic. Nothing. So… he lost a good commission. Why? Why couldn’t this individual distinguish between showing mature professionals, three or four houses for a buyer that they had given him, and taking a young couple out for several weeks to look at houses that they may not have been qualified to buy? You need to know when to flex. He didn’t. And… it cost him several thousand dollars in a real estate commission. In short – he blew it big time. It cost him.

Unfortunately this is not an isolated incident. Every day we see individuals hide behind “policy” that doesn’t make sense for every situation. These decisions hurt them! So maybe a question to ask yourself is do you make those kinds of decisions and later wonder “why did I do that?” Quite often it is because the individual just isn’t seeing clearly. Most often their vision is blocked by something that they aren’t aware of it. A trigger from their past. Remember this… the person with the most flexibility in a conflict or a negotiation will win.

The person with the most flexibility in a conflict or negotiation wins

If you make decisions that in retrospect are not good, call Bob Crow at 404.277.1827 for a complimentary consultation to see what’s going on. The idea is to identify what drove you to make an unwise decision and to move beyond it.

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