Greetings.  We live in a world filled with disclaimers.  A world of little fine print in which very few things are as awesome as they initially appear to be.  That's why companies like outdoor outfitter L. L. Bean, cookware maker Le Creuset, bicycle rack manufacturer Saris, and the mid-priced hotel chain Hampton Inn are so impressive.  Each of these companies have the gall to stand behind their products and services unconditionally, allowing the customer to decide if their expectations have been met or exceeded.

But too many other companies and organizations make offers and promises that don't really mean a lot.  And as we start a new week it might be fun to share some common and not so common "disclaimers" that are part of the landscape of doing business today…

All sales are final.

No purchase necessary.

Some assembly is required.

Batteries not included.

Contents may settle during shipment.

Contents may explode under pressure.

May be hazardous to your health.

Made with 100% natural and artificial flavoring.

Prices subject to change without notice.

Please allow 4 – 6 weeks for delivery.

A restocking fee may apply.

Ride at your own risk.

Management assumes no responsibility for the accuracy of these statements.

Any resemblance to real persons, living or dead, is purely coincidental.

Any resemblance to the truth is purely coincidental.

Not intended for children under 5 or people who act like them.

If condition persists please consult your physician.

Do not place a live animal in the microwave–doing so could be fatal.

The opinions expressed are not necessarily those of management or our Board of Directors.

We make no warrants or representations regarding the use, validity, accuracy, reliability or quality of this product.

The decision of the judges is final.

It is safe to say that none of the disclaimers above provide any real comfort that the company or organization making them has taken the time to:  (a) understand the real needs and hopes of customers; or (b) figure out how to offer products, services and solutions that are the best and fairest they can possibly be.  

Which suggests that you and the geniuses you work with have a great opportunity to create unique value by being as "disclaimer-free" as possible.  All it takes is the commitment to be customer-centric and willing to stretch your thinking…and a willingness to tackle the challenges behind disclaimers head-on.

Warning Sign

We win in business and in life when we offer the real deal.  And when our fine print provides pleasant surprises that show how much we value our customers.