Originally titled Federal Trade Commission Rule 429, the law governing recision wasn't intended to be a satisfaction guarantee or “buyer's remorse” insurance program. It was intended to correct the problem of sales obtained through deceptive or high-pressure tactics.

In surveys that asked home improvement customers why they rescinded, respondents used such phrases as “price too high,” “don't see the value,” or “not competitive with other prices received.” Customers also said they felt pressured, didn't believe the discounts, or were uncomfortable with the idea of buying immediately.

Many of these responses concern buyer's remorse rather than the specific requirements or purpose of the law. But the fact remains that if the buyer so chooses, the contract is rescinded.

What these statements bear out is that high recision rates are caused by a errors in the sales process.

Many factors — source and style of the lead, perceived needs by the prospect, size of the contract, cash vs. finance — affect recision rates. However, if your company is using outdated sales methods, using multiple “drops or discounts,” or not establishing value before a price is quoted or an incentive offered, chances are your rate of recision is higher than it should be.

If your average contract is $4,000 or less, a recision rate above 2% or 3% is unacceptable. On contracts of $5,000 to $10,000, recisions range from 4% to 10%. For contracts from $15,000 to $25,000, recision rates vary, although it's not uncommon for them to exceed 20%.

High-need products such as roof replacement or HVAC systems rescind at a much lower rate than sunrooms or decks. Low-end, low-price products or those purchased after much shopping also have low recision rates. Those who use recision as a means to close are unwise and ultimately end up destroying their sales methodology.

Whatever your rate of recision, it can be improved. Look to your sales methods. — Dave Yoho (www.daveyoho.com) is president of the oldest and largest consulting group serving the home improvement industry. His newest book, Have a Great Year Every Year, is available in bookstores or by calling his office: 703.591.2490.