Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Where They Sign What They Sign

Dan Ariely, a Duke University professor and author of Predictably Irrational, has been studying how to prevent cheating.

In a recent study, he found that when people are asked to sign their name at the TOP of an insurance application (instead of the usual signature spot, at the bottom) they were more honest about their driving habits, even though higher annual mileage meant higher premiums.

Extending this notion to more of a B-to-B setting:
  • The next time you query vendors on their Request for Proposal (RFP) submissions, or the like, have each vendor contact person sign the RFP response ... at the top of page 1 ... before reviewing it with them.

  • The next time a customer wants to review with you their Service Level Agreement (SLA) status report, or the like, have him/her sign that SLA status report ... at the top of page 1 ... at the very start of the meeting.

And just to keep yourself on the up-and-up:

  • The next time YOU need to submit some written information on something to someone, or the like, put YOUR signature ... at the top of page 1 ... before completing it!

source: "When People Recon it's O.K. to Cheat", BusinessWeek magazine, October 5, 2009, p25.

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