Lemonade from a Printed Lemon
With our twins looking at colleges, we have been deluged with mailing pieces as schools vie for their attendance and our money.
We look at things differently from the girls. George and Jillian see photos. Allison, being a graphic designer, looks at the fonts in the layout. For the most part, I just pick up what’s left behind on the kitchen counter and toss it in the recycle bin.
For the most part, that is.
Every once in a while, something catches my eye; like the postcard which arrived yesterday and now serves as the inspiration for this week’s sales tip…
Longtime recipients of my Short Attention Span Sales Tips have heard me talk about how it’s possible to have a production disaster and come out ahead because of how it was handled. The Admissions Team from the University of New Hampshire has proven my point.
The oversize postcard we received reads, “Even Wildcats make mistakes” on one side. The other side reads:
“Dear Future Wildcat,
If your new year goals aren’t off to an Instagram-worthy beginning, know that you are in good company: ours.
In our enthusiastic efforts to wish a happy new year to all our incredible prospective students - admitted and applicants alike - we got our wires crossed and accidentally sent you a card intended for students further along in the admissions process. We apologize for any confusion or consternation this might have caused you.”
Okay. So far this is simply UNH telling Georgia if she thinks she has been accepted she’s wrong and they’re sorry. But it’s this next paragraph which creates a, “make lemonade out of lemons” moment:
“Making mistakes, however, is a critical part of the learning process. That’s how we grow as students and leaders - and set the benchmarks by which we do better next time. So in that spirit of looking ahead, please know that we sincerely hope you will submit or finish your application and continue your UNH journey.”
I don’t know the story behind this postcard. I’m not sure if the printer made a mistake or someone in their Admissions Department dropped the ball. All I know is, by doing a mea culpa and then turning mistake into a learning opportunity, UNH has somehow come out better because of the problem. Kudos to you up in the White Mountain state.
The postcard concludes with the final show of class and humility:
“Dream big. Make mistakes. Best wishes for a bright, healthy and fulfilling new year.
Your Admissions Team
After the emotional reaction has faded, make it your job to find a way to make things right creatively. You cannot undo the error, but you can serve up some pretty fine lemonade.
Want more? Go tofor instantly-applicable ideas for sales growth. Hit the Events tab and see the calendar of live workshops coming up. Bill Farquharson can be reached at 781-934-7036.
Bill Farquharson is a respected industry expert and highly sought after speaker known for his energetic and entertaining presentations. Bill engages his audiences with wit and wisdom earned as a 40-year print sales veteran while teaching new ideas for solving classic sales challenges. Email him at email@example.com or call (781) 934-7036. Bill’s two books, The 25 Best Print Sales Tips Ever and Who’s Making Money at Digital/Inkjet Printing…and How? as well as information on his new subscription-based website, The Sales Vault, are available at salesvault.pro.