During my sales career, I’ve made my fair share of mistakes. Lot of them. I’ve always been aggressive, always worked quickly, and sometimes my enthusiasm gets the best of me. Little details slip beneath the cracks. A promise goes unfulfilled. Nothing derails the relationship-building stage more than saying you’ll do something and failing to actually do it.
But here’s what I’ve learned – everyone makes mistakes. In fact, sometimes making a mistake can HELP build stronger relationships. But in order for that to happen, there’s two critical things that need to take place first: you need to admit making the mistake immediately, and you need to propose an action plan. We work in a deadline driven industry, and every day that goes by can cause irreparable damage.
It all starts with an apology. If you’ve made a commitment and have not kept it, you owe your client an apology. Acknowledging the mistake shows you are a trusted business professional. Avoiding the mistake and hoping it goes away shows that you care more about protecting yourself instead of putting the focus on helping your client succeed.
After apologizing, tell your client what you plan to do about it. If you missed running an ad, tell them when it can run. If an ad was billed incorrectly, tell them when they can expect to receive a revised invoice. Show your client that you’re committed to mitigating any damage that was done and to make things right. Prove that you can and will do what you said you would.
And always remember…everyone makes mistakes. No one is perfect. Not you, not I, and not the client sitting across the table from you. That said, even though everyone makes mistakes, not everyone has enough humility to admit that an unfortunate situation has occurred and does what is necessary to make things right. Be honest about what happened. Learn from it. Offer a solution. And most importantly, put steps into place to ensure that it does not happen again.
There are two things that I’ve learned during my career that have NEVER been proven wrong: People like to do business with people they like. People will only do business with people they trust.
Have a great week,
If there are specific topics you’d like to see discussed in a future issue of The Sales Cycle, please contact me at (612) 278-0223 or firstname.lastname@example.org