Asking for a Second Chance

There is a very famous quote that says, “You never get a second chance to make a first impression.” I believe in this quote—with some caveats. There are several circumstances that warrant getting back on the horse and trying again. Another famous quote: “Nothing ventured, nothing gained!”

While prospecting.—Especially when we’re new, and may be just learning to be the awesome salesperson that lives inside of us, we might really blow an opportunity and wreck our chance of doing business with a company that we really want to do business with. So should we just toss them in the garbage and never call again?

NO! There are a lot of options here. You could suggest to a colleague go back in and give it another try. Or, you can put them on the back burner, wait until your skills are sharper, and then be honest and humble and admit your mistakes and ask for another chance. If you have nothing to lose, try ANY means to get where you want to be.

Your company screwed up a job.—It happens to the best of us. Eventually, your company will make a mistake on a job, and the client will say, “I will NEVER do business with you again.” In my experience, the best move is to let them vent, be extremely contrite, and give it time to blow over. Then, with all humility, ask for a second chance. If you have any sort of a relationship with the company, you should get it. Be willing to take all the blame, promise to keep a sharp eye on all their work in the future, and then hold up your end of the bargain.

The mistake was all you.—Whether you forgot a zero on an estimate, mixed up delivery dates, or quoted two colors when they asked for four, it’s time to take your medicine. Honesty, humility and timeliness are of the essence. When you have bad news to deliver, do not delay. Pick up the phone, give the bad news, and focus on the solution. Ask, “What can I do to make this situation better?” And then, with all the power you have, make it happen.

Now working as a consultant, Kelly sold digital printing for 15 years so she understands the challenges, frustrations and pitfalls of building a successful sales practice. Her mission is to help printers of all sizes sell more stuff. Kelly's areas of focus include client recovery, retention and acquisition, and marketing communications projects.
Kelly graduated from the University of Michigan with a degree in Political Science and, among other notable accomplishments, co-founded the Windy City Rollers, a professional women's roller derby league.

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