Q: Had a previous engagement elsewhere so I had my staff sit through the 4473 webinar in my place. I have a question with something they reported learning. To wit, Current practice if a customer answers a question 11.a through 11.i. in such a manner as make them not the actual buyer and/or a prohibited person (a “no” on 11.a. and/or a “yes” on 11.b. through 11.i.) is to have the clerk contact the manager immediately. The manager thanks the customer for their honesty and informs the customer that it is a no sale due to the answers on the 4473. Almost invariably customers will ask what answer disqualified them. Upon learning which answer is disqualifying some customers simply walk away. (Exactly what the sales clerk does in the “Don’t Lie for the Other Guy” video Pt II; in that scenario the customer walks away and no mention of a mistake or correction if I recall). Many, however, will claim to have read the question incorrectly or to have answered in error and state emphatically that the disqualifying answer is incorrect. Staff reports that per the webinar this practice should be discontinued at once – even if it an old customer that has correctly answered in the past. Seems a little on the overkill side especially since the majority of my customers these days are handicapped with a public school education and quite frankly either don’t read the entire question (#1 on the pencil whip parade: 11.i. “Oh, I just read misdemeanor and I have a DUI. never been busted for domestic violence!”) or think “adjudicate” is some sort of a sex offense – no kidding and I could go on but I’m sure you get the picture. We still allow people to correct wrong dates, addresses, etc., is there no wiggle room when it comes to assessing whether the customer made an honest mistake on Question 11? Our policy is changing today – immediately – in accordance with your training. I am asking for reaffirmation as it seems a bit harsh and I was not able to attend the webinar in person.
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