React, Recover, Resolve
Between us, my wife Allison and I have six daughters and a son. Add to that three spouses and a three-month-old grandson, and we are never far from drama. Given this background, I believe I have the credibility to offer the following sales tip:
React, recover, resolve.
These are the three most important steps in any kind of conflict resolution. Your goal is to shorten the space between them. Do it right and you’ll receive a benefit you didn’t see coming.
Let me give you an example …
As a new driver, my daughter Kate totaled two cars within 12 months. Both were dramatic events featuring lots of tears, emails to practically everyone she knew at the time, and myriad social media posts. It took days for her to recover, not because she was injured, because she wasn’t in either case. Her recovery was from the hysteria. Only then was she able to comprehend options to resolve.
Fast-forward seven or eight years …
I got a phone call from Kate to let me know a car had sideswiped them while they were changing lanes. She proudly told me she got out of the car, took pictures of both cars (including the other license plate for identification), quickly exchanged phone numbers, and got back on the road. Her react — recover — resolve time went from days to minutes. I’ll never forget her saying to me, “Dad, I figured I could always react later.”
Now you …
A client calls and says, “We got a major problem with the time-sensitive job you just shipped us.” Your initial reaction might include:
- “OMG, they’ll never work with us again,” or
- “This is definitely not going to be our fault,” or
- “What will be the long-term impact?”
Recovering from all of these self-inflicted concerns could take hours or even days. Only then will you be able to think about solutions.
A better approach …
When the client tells you about the problem, express concern and empathy, but don’t dwell on assigning fault or blame. There will be plenty of time for that later. Instead, jump straight to solving the immediate problem. The run length for the job in our example might be 50,000. But what is the immediate need? It might only be 500. That’s an easier problem to solve. Focus your attention there.
This seems crazy and contrary, but you can actually benefit from problem orders. Handle them properly, professionally, and promptly and your stock will rise in the eyes of your clients. They will see you in a favorable light and their faith in you will rise as a result.
Unless you think it’s a better solution to email production, management, your spouse, your coworkers, your friends, and then post on Instagram.
Want more? Check out Bill’s Sales Vault at SalesVaultInsider.com. Hit the Events tab and contact Bill if you’d like to try out a workshop for free.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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.