Savage Killer Transformation #6

Eliminate Rules!
Are you Crazy? We Run by Rules!

I was going a consulting assignment for a company that sold appliances. They had 300 stores and I visited 30 of them. One store was in a poor neighborhood. It was a large store, about 5,000 square feet, with good lighting and nice displays. Only one thing was missing: customers. Hardly anyone came in. The store was losing money.

I asked Jerry, the manager, what was wrong. He told me, "Steve, we used to have a nice little family store here. It was about 1,500 square feet and it was just right for this community. Then we got an order from company headquarters that all stores had to be at least 5,000 square feet. We had to close that profitable little shop and open up this place which has never made any money."

The brilliant people who made that rule were 2,000 miles away! When I met with them a few weeks later, I described to them exactly what I had seen. They asked me for my advice. I said, "Let Jerry decide. He knows the community. He has run a profitable store in the past. He understands what kind of space he needs. Let him make the call. Above all, don't make the rules for him."

They reluctantly agreed.

Six months later, Jerry was once again in charge of a small but profitable family store that was just right for his community.

How about your company? What kinds of rules do you have that are unnecessary?

Once I bought a pair of binoculars for about $50. A couple of days later I went back to the store and told them I wanted a more expensive pair with more power so I could use them for bird-watching. I liked the $80 pair better. The manager said, "Sure, we can do that. May I have your receipt?"

I gave him the credit card receipt they had given me a couple of days earlier. He looked crestfallen. "Oh, no. That is not the store receipt. That doesn't show that you bought this particular pair of binoculars. Do you have the receipt we gave you?"

I hate paper and keep the minimum possible. He was lucky I still had the credit card receipt. I told him that was all I had. He shook his head sadly and said he could not exchange binoculars.

I was astonished. I said, "Look, I am offering to pay you $30 more for a better pair of binoculars. You will make more money."

He sadly lowered his head and said, "It's not my rule. I hate it, but that is the corporate rule. I can't accept your binoculars if you don't have the original store receipt."

What about your company? What rules do you have that are useless and unnecessary? Examine each one. Break the rules. Eliminate the rules. Make your company agile and flexible. You will prosper and thrive. You will make more sales, more often.


There are many things you can do to apply Savage Killer Transformations to make more sales, more often. But let's just start with three. Go back to work and start with three simple steps. Apply these Savage Killer Transformations immediately.

  1. Drive one decision down.
  2. Go on one sales call.
  3. Eliminate one rule.

Absorb and apply these Six Savage Killer Transformations and you will be on your way to making more sales, more often.

©2009, Steve Savage

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