If you encountered this situation, how would you handle it? (Typical employment situation, such as: “Your manager is out of town and cannot be reached. Only the manager has the authority to approve shipments over a certain value to new customers on credit. A customer you've been trying to get calls with a large order and insists that it be shipped immediately, on a credit basis. You know your manager wanted you to get this customer, but you don't have authorization to release the merchandise without payment. What do you do?”)
I've been in a similar situation in the past. I like a big order as much as anyone else, but I also know there is a good reason for the company credit policy. When you send $10,000 worth of merchandise out the door to a new customer without payment or prior credit approval, you deserve whatever you get―or don't get. Most customers are accustomed to COD shipments on initial orders or to those waiting for credit approval. When customers try to circumvent these policies, it's a signal to proceed with caution or even to stop.
I would call the customer back, thank him or her for the order, and let the person know how happy we are to have the business. I would explain the policy clearly and politely and would offer the opportunity either to accept a COD shipment or to wait until credit is approved. I'd assure him or her I would personally expedite the paperwork and ship the order the fastest way possible once good credit was verified.
If the customer has called with an order, he or she already likes the product and price. So my job now is to deliver flawless customer service and sales follow-up. If the person is trying to put one over on me and I stand firmly and politely behind our company policy, he or she gains a new respect for the company. I have an excellent chance of keeping the business by demonstrating this kind of professionalism. That's the reason for company policies and procedures in the first place―to help employees solve problems like this on their own with firm, fair, and consistent guidelines.